World Urban Forum: which role for intermediary cities in the implementation of the New Urban Agenda

5 February 2018

The Ninth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF9) to take place in Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) is the first session to focus on the implementation of the New Urban Agenda adopted in Habitat III. In the “Listen to Cities room”, specific events are organised to ensure effective discussion on action-oriented solutions involving representatives at all levels of government: PLATFORMA is co-organising one on the the role of intermediary cities. 

Created in 2001 by the United Nations, the World Urban Forum is the world’s leading conference that tackles the challenges of urbanization. The WUF9 is an opportunity to continue increasing the dialogue between national and subnational authorities on the New Urban Agenda (NUA) implementation. PLATFORMA (Member of the Global Task Force of Local and Regional Governments), the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR), the Covenant of Mayors in Sub-Saharan Africa and Cities Alliance are organising on on Friday 9 February (15:00 – 17:00 local time) an event entitled: “The city and the territory: the role of intermediary cities and the Territorial Approach to Local Development for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda”.

It is commonly agreed that the New Urban Agenda and the SDGs must be localised and translated into concrete actions for territorial development that have positive impacts on local communities. The 2030 Agenda will fail to deliver positive transformation for people and the planet without empowerment of Local and Regional Governments (LRGs) and ownership by citizens.

The event will give a comprehensive vision on the role of territorial approach to local development to achieve SDGs and the NUA in territories. The event will zoom into the practice of towns and regions to address the urbanisation challenge in an integrated manner with their hinterlands.

After setting the frame of intermediary cities which have a key role to play as dynamic urban areas of growth, transit and/or depopulation, it will zoom in on modalities to strengthen LRGs’ capabilities to deliver on the targets of the SDGs and the NUA. It will in particular focus on decentralised cooperation and strategies developed under the Covenants of Mayors in Europe and in Sub-Saharan Africa. It will also boost discussion on how local, regional and national governments and the EU should use the Territorial Approach to Local Development (TALD) methodology launched last year by the European Commission, for the implementation of the SDGs and the NUA in Europe and with their partners in the world.

With this purpose, LRGs from Europe and other continents will showcase good practices that exemplify their role as enablers for a holistic and integrated territorial approach for achieving the SDGs. Examples will be provided on how SDGs are fully integrated in local development strategies, and on how municipalities, cities and regions want to achieve the SDGs and the NUA through their international action and local development plans.


Programmatic approaches to urban and territorial development

  • Carola Gunnarsson, Mayor of Sala, Sweden, and CEMR spokesperson on territorial development
  • Paolo Ciccarelli, Head of Unit Cities, Digitalisation, Local Governments, European Commission, DG DEVCO
  • Dr Rene Peter Hohmann, Senior Urban Specialist, Cities Alliance
  • Mohamed Sefiani, Mayor of Chefchaouen (Morocco) host of the World Forum on Intermediary Cities


Operationalising sustainable urban development programmes based on exchanging experiences between cities

  • Godfrey Kabbyanga, mayor of Kasese, Uganda
  • Mercè Conesa i Pagès, President of the Diputació de Barcelona, Spain
  • Juliet Mekone, UCLG-Africa Regional director West-Africa


Concluding remarks: Corina Cretu, Commissioner for Regional Policy, European Commission (invited)

Moderator: Frédéric Vallier, Secretary-General of the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)

Subscribe to newsletter