UCLG Reaffirms Commitment to Joint Agenda with Cities Alliance

United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) reaffirmed its commitment to the joint agenda with the Cities Alliance at the 2011 UCLG World Council in Florence.
United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG) reaffirmed its commitment to the joint agenda with the Cities Alliance at its 2011 World Council in Florence recently.
Over the past six years, the Cities Alliance has worked closely with UCLG on strategic urban planning, primarily through two Joint Work Programmes. Results of the very successful partnership have included the establishment of city-to-city mentorship programmes and the creation of the UCLG Committee on Strategic Urban Planning, which has developed a global position of local governments on strategic planning and urban development.
Some 500 local and regional representatives from over 40 countries as well as private sector and key international partners attended the UCLG World Council, which was held in Florence, Italy 9-11 December 2011 at the invitation of Matteo Renzi, Mayor of Florence. The Cities Alliance Secretariat was represented by Manager William Cobbett.
At the meeting, UCLG defined its strategy for the coming six years. The meeting also provided an opportunity for local and regional authorities to contribute to the international debate on sustainability surrounding Rio + 20.
Members noted that international and national strategies for sustainable development should take into account local and regional visions, and highlighted the role of cities as well as local and regional governments in mitigating and adapting to climate change as well as planning for disaster risk reduction.
In addition, members decided to produce the Third Report of the Global Observatory on Local Democracy and Decentralisation (GOLD) on the theme Governance of Local Basic Services, together with the development of an Index on local governments and decentralisation, according to the views and experiences of local and regional leaders.
Metropolis, UCLG’s metropolitan section, also held its World Congress 23-26 November 2011 in Porto Alegre, Brazil.
Nearly 850 participants from 150 cities in different countries attended the event, including governors, members of parliament, mayors, councillors, secretaries, urban policy managers, urban planners and corporate executives. The theme for 2011 was “Cities in Transition”.
The Congress presented various solutions for governance, urban planning, participatory democracy, innovation, the fight against climate change, sustainability, periurban agriculture and renewable energies. It also established new guidelines that will steer Metropolis over the next three years and approved a new Board of Directors.
The Cities Alliance supported a two-day workshop on “The Future of Urban Investment in Latin America” that took place during the Congress. Organised by UCLG, Metropolis and the World Fund for Cities Development, the workshop brought together representatives of local governments to share their experiences on the availability of internal resources, securing investment funding for urban development, and credit mechanisms.
The workshop presented local government representatives with a range of tools and instruments developed by the financial institutions specifically for local governments, as well as certain mechanisms initiated and developed by local leaders themselves to fill existing shortages in accessible financing. Such exchanges help financial institutions better understand and respond to the needs and expectations of local authorities in terms of tools targeted towards the local context. They also allow available resources to be increased.
The Cities Alliance was represented in the workshop’s opening session by Josep Roig, UCLG Secretary-General and Chairman of the Cities Alliance Executive Committee. Mr. Roig gave a brief introduction about Alliance and its partnership with UCLG and highlighted the support provided by both to local governments.  Research Analyst Mariana Kara Jose, who is based at the Cities Alliance’s São Paulo office, also attended the workshop.