Flip the Script: Cities and Nature

The second UNEA Cities & Regions Summit showcased the multiple benefits of nature in cities for tackling the triple planetary crises of climate change, biodiversity loss and pollution, zooming in on local and global actions.

date & time
23 Feb 2022, 12:30PM UTC
hosted by
United Nations Environment Programme

Panelists at the closing session of the UNEA Cities & Regions Summit

We often see cities as polluted expanses of concrete, vulnerable to climate disasters and devoid of biodiversity. The second UNEA Cities and Regions Summit challenges us to ‘flip the script’ and establish cities as champions of nature and accelerators of a sustainable future. UrbanShift cities, countries and partners are leading the way in the movement to redefine and redesign urban infrastructure, transforming built environments in an equitable, nature-positive manner.

At UrbanShift’s first high-level advocacy event of the year, we heard from global experts and city leaders about the value of nature-positive strategies in rethinking the way cities are planned.


  • Kunal Kumar, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs, India
  • Ming Jiang, Deputy Director, Development and Reform Commission, Chengdu City, China
  • Anna König Jerlmyr, Mayor of Stockholm, Sweden and Vice Chair, C40 Cities
  • Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal, Canada, on behalf of CitiesWithNature, ICLEI Global Biodiversity Ambassador
  • His Excellency Carlos Eduardo Correa Escaf, Minister of Environment and Sustainable Development, Colombia
  • Mauricio Vila Dosal, Governor of the State of Yucatan, Mexico on behalf of RegionsWithNature, ICLEI
  • Inger Andersen, Executive Director, UN Environment Programme, Under Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director, UN-Habitat, Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations
  • Carlos Manuel Rodríguez, CEO and Chairperson, Global Environment Facility
  • Wanjira Mathai, Vice President, Regional Director for Africa, World Resources Institute
  • Stewart Maginnis, Deputy Director General, International Union for Conservation of Nature
  • Jennifer Lenhart, Global Lead, WWF Cities

The official outcome document of the Summit is now available at this link. You can access the summary report of the Summit at this link, and the full report here. The press release is available on this page.

On March 2, Mayor of Stockholm Anna König Jerlmyr reported back on the outcomes of the Summit at the Closing Plenary of the Fifth Session of the UN Environment Assembly. You can watch the recording of her intervention at this link.