UCLG World Summit in Bogotá: What is at stake?

UCLG World Summit in Bogotá: What is at stake?

On 12-15 October the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders will be held in Bogotá together with the 5th UCLG World Congress. During the World Summit, local and regional leaders will have the opportunity to discuss cutting-edge environmental, economic and societal issues affecting our daily work on the ground.

The Summit is the key gathering prior to the Habitat III Conference in Quito that seeks to revive the international municipal movement and strengthen the voice of local and regional governments. How issues such as urbanization, migration, climate change, increasing inequalities, new technologies and citizen demands for democracy are reshaping our societies and our planet will be addressed during the Summit. Local and regional governments from around the world will discuss how to approach development over the coming decades.
Following this line, the International Institute of Sustainable Development (IISD) has developed a series of policy updates to show the major issues shaping the day-to-day work of local and regional governments in more detail.

A journey for a common a voice

In May 2016, the Global Taskforce of Local and Regional Governments (GTF), facilitated by UCLG, agreed on the recommendations of local and regional governments towards Habitat III based on the outcomes of the Second World Assembly of Local and Regional Governments. These are the main proposals for the Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda that local and regional governments will take to Quito.

Will Habitat III listen to cities and territories?

The Right to the City will be at the core of the World Summit. As established in the Zero Draft of the New Urban Agenda, the Right to the City means the “right of all inhabitants, present and future, permanent and temporary to use, occupy and produce just, inclusive and sustainable cities, defined as a common good essential to a full and decent life.”
But how is the Right to the City ensured in practice? The World Summit will be the key moment to contribute to the political dialogue and build momentum for the initiative.
Local and regional governments have been advocating for the Right to the City and, whether included in the final draft of the New Urban Agenda or not, will continue to implement it.

Localizing the agenda

Cities have become the most relevant and challenging areas in which to implement the SDGs. "Localization" refers to the implementation of the SGDs on the ground. In this regard, local and regional governments are essential actors to achieve the effective implementation of the 2030 Agenda at local level.

Challenges and opportunities for local finance

In a rapidly changing world cities and municipalities need strategic planning to face the current global challenges. Local governance is the closest level of government to citizens, and for this reason is considered the most appropriate actor to manage financing that targets sustainable urban development. In order to achieve this, there is an essential need for effective finance to boost sustainable urban transformation in fast-growing cities. Yet, what are the real financial capacities of and challenges faced by municipalities?

Local governments bring the perspectives of metropolitan areas, intermediary cities and territories to Habitat III

The effective implementation of the SDGs and the New Urban Agenda will require the active involvement of all types of local and regional government, large and small, rural and urban.
The World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders will see the launch of the Fourth Global Report on Local Democracy and Decentralization (GOLD IV) – Co-Creating the Urban Future. The report provides the evidence base for the Global Agenda of Local and Regional Governments, a set of policy recommendations for everyone involved in the future of metropolises, intermediary cities and territories. GOLD IV puts local and regional authorities at the centre of the New Urban Agenda, focusing on policies that – with the involvement of citizens and communities – have the potential to transform human settlements around the world.

The World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders will be an extraordinary opportunity to make the voices of local and regional governments heard and move forward towards the Habitat III Conference in Quito.

For further information: