Cities Alliance Organises SECO Urban Roundtable

The roundtable centred around building partnerships, cooperation and knowledge sharing among SECO-funded urban development organisations.


As part of its urban development programme, the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) has established a number of partnerships around the theme of integrated urban infrastructure development.

To share the wealth of experience gathered by these partnerships and foster cooperation, SECO has invited them to participate in a yearly Urban Roundtable. The goals of the event are to identify synergies and areas of cooperation, share knowledge, and identify upcoming trends in urban development.

In addition to the Cities Alliance, these partnerships include the Cities Development Initiative for Asia (CDIA), the Emerging and Sustainable Cities Initiative (ESCI) of the Inter-American Development Bank, in cooperation with the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH Zurich), and the World Bank Multi-donor Trust Fund on Sustainable Urban Development.

This year, Cities Alliance hosted the SECO Urban Roundtable in Brussels. The event was structured around ways to find common ground on three main issues: the emerging Sustainable Development Goals, resiliency, and strategic planning and financing.
Participants welcomed the opportunity to share and discuss with organisations with whom they may not otherwise collaborate. The discussions were lively and informative, especially around the issue of resilience. A relatively new concept, resilience is defined differently by various institutions, and the roundtable participants were able to learn about the different kinds of tools each institution is developing.  

The next roundtable will be hosted by the World Bank at one of its European offices in 2016.