Dear friends and colleagues,
Welcome to the second UrbanShift newsletter of 2023! On behalf of C40 Cities, a key partner in this GEF-funded initiative aimed at reducing carbon emissions in cities to support people and planet, we’re honored to share with you what’s on the horizon for UrbanShift.
The recently released IPCC report underscores the urgency and potential of this initiative. All sectors must significantly and rapidly cut greenhouse gas emissions over the next decade to ensure that the future stays within the 1.5°C limit. As cities are central hubs of human activity and industry, they have the potential to create and scale effective and integrated approaches to mitigate climate change and promote sustainable development, leaving no one behind.
Through UrbanShift’s global platform, we have been focusing our efforts on supporting leaders from our participating cities with the tools and capacity-strengthening resources to implement meaningful transformations. This month, we launched our new geospatial indicator dashboards, which demonstrate the imperative for cities to adopt an integrated and data-led approach to building resilience to climate change. And the new C40 Urban Rewilding report, launched by Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan (C40 Chair) and Mayor of Montreal, Valerie Plante (C40 Vice-Chair for Nature) shares how increasing urban biodiversity can help remedy ecological degradation. Highlighting five principles and four typologies for restoring natural habitats in urban spaces, the report offers tangible guidance and case studies from around the world. You can read it in full here.
On the ground, UrbanShift continues to scale up activities and support for our network of cities. In Marrakech, the Marrakech Ville Durable project will soon launch with the goals of lowering the city’s emissions, improving biodiversity, and contributing to climate-resilient living conditions for residents.
Furthermore, we are excited to announce upcoming events, including an UrbanShift Lab in Kigali in June and a City Academy in San José focused on nature-based solutions and integrated climate action planning. Looking ahead to September, we are preparing for the Asia Forum in New Delhi, which will convene stakeholders from across the region in critical conversations around urban development. Mark your calendars!
Please explore more recent research, blogs, and events below to learn more about our work. We hope that you will continue to support and participate in UrbanShift’s mission.
Andrea Fernández / Managing Director of Climate Finance, Knowledge and Partnerships, C40 Cities
BLOGS & RESEARCH
State of Finance for Nature in Cities 2023
In this publication, UNEP and the Penn Institute for Urban Research outline gaps and opportunities for financing Nature-based Solutions in cities, best practices from around the world, and actions that can be taken to scale up investments in nature.
Nature-based solutions in cities are the future of the fight against climate change. Here's how to fund them.
Nature is the most resource-efficient solution to help build resilient, vibrant and future-proof cities, but implementing nature-based solutions needs funding. Here are five ways we can fund the green transition.
5 Priorities for Urban Climate Action in 2023 and Beyond
Changing our approach to cities must be at the center of efforts to thwart climate change. As we move further into this decisive decade, here are five critical areas of action for cities.
How to Enable Electric Bus Adoption in Cities Worldwide
This report provides step-by-step guidance to transit agencies to establish and achieve electric bus adoption targets using concrete and diverse real-world experiences.
Lima’s Participatory, Low-Cost Expansion of Public Green Space
Lima, a GEF 6 city, has found success with a tactical-urbanism approach to creating more vibrant public spaces. Here are key takeaways from its ongoing efforts to improve quality of life for residents.
Trees for Cities: Implementing Nature-Based Solutions in India
Nature-based solutions create multiple benefits for urban residents, from heat protection to green jobs. WRI India shares how cities across the country are scaling up urban forestry efforts.
UPCOMING EVENTS & OPPORTUNITIES
India National-Local Dialogue: Indian Perspectives on Smart and Sustainable Infrastructure Development
The first National-Local Dialogue in India will provide a forum for constructive discussions around smart and sustainable infrastructure development in India among senior technical representatives from the national government and UrbanShift cities, as well as non-UrbanShift cities, international organizations, urban practitioners and NGOs. May 3.
International Forum to End Plastic Pollution in Cities
During the second session of the Intergovernmental Negotiating Committee on Plastic Pollution, UrbanShift will be working with the city of Paris to convene global mayors, scientists, NGOs, intergovernmental organizations and philanthropies for a day of exchanges and discussions on soutions to minimize the impact of plastics on the planet. Information on how to join online forthcoming. May 26.
Kigali Geospatial Lab
During this closed-door integrated planning Lab, City of Kigali leaders and stakeholders will have an opportunity to collaborate on evidence-based approaches to assessing the resilience of new neighborhood developments, and determining the connectiveness of these newly formed areas to essential infrastructure services like public transport. More information forthcoming. June 20-21.
Rwanda Multilevel Governance Dialogue
Toward the goal of furthering communication and coordination across different levels and sectors of government, this UrbanShift National-Local Dialogue in Kigali will unite public-sector leaders in Rwanda around the theme of “new age infrastructure to build flood resilience and enhance biodiversity.” This closed-door meeting will result in more collaborative approaches to complex challenges facing the country. More information forthcoming. June 22-23.
San José City Academy
UrbanShift’s third City Academy will be hosted in San José, Costa Rica. This three-day, in-person training will bring together more than 50 representatives from 6 countries and more than 20 cities in Latin America to learn, exchange and collaborate on nature-based solutions and integrated climate action planning. More information forthcoming. July 4-6.
Daring Cities 2023 Virtual Forum
Daring Cities 2023 seeks to empower urban decision-makers to lead the response to the climate emergency, with a focus on the theme of a just and equitable climate emergency response. Throughout the summer, this virtual forum will offer curated workshops and knowledge exchanges around adaptable solutions for local and regional governments. Registration information forthcoming. July-September, 2023.
UrbanShift Asia Forum, New Delhi, India
UrbanShift Forums are the flagship events of the program. At UrbanShift's first forum, senior representatives from cities in India, China and Indonesia will meet with international organizations and the private sector to exchange knowledge on regional urban challenges and solutions. Learn more. September 25-28.
Transformative Actions Program 2023 Call
Led by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and part of the UrbanShift’s finance offer, the TAP is a global initiative to help local and regional governments transform their sustainable development concepts into mature, robust and bankable projects ready for financing and implementation. The 2023 call is now open! Learn more in this webinar and apply here. Deadline for applications: 15 December, 2023.
Cities Summit of the Americas: Building Resilience with Nature in Cities
During this session at the Cities Summit of the Americas in Denver, leaders and experts shared perspectives on successful nature-based solutions in Latin American cities, as well as strategies to increase financing for resilience efforts.
Plastic Pollution & Cities: Building Momentum Towards a Global Plastics Treaty
At this circular economy-themed webinar, we heard from experts, city representatives and waste pickers about the causes & consequences of plastic pollution in cities, and what cities can do to initiate a just transition to a plastic-free economy.
UrbanShift's mission is to transform cities for people and planet through integrated urban development. We engage with more than 23 cities across nine countries (China, India, Indonesia, Sierra Leone, Rwanda, Morocco, Costa Rica, Brazil and Argentina), bringing together local and global stakeholders to build a resilient, inclusive, zero-carbon urban future.