Daring Cities Sessions


Moving Forward: Local and Regional Governments on the Roadmap Toward Our Climate-Friendly, Resilient Future

This session will provide an overview of the upcoming global milestones on the roadmap toward our climate-friendly, resilient future, focusing on the opportunities for local and regional governments to directly engage in and benefit from these processes. High-level representatives of the three Rio conventions will address the criticality of this moment for all levels of government to take bold and decisive action to protect the climate, nature and land, and emphasize the role that cities, towns and regions in particular have in championing ambitious action in these fields. Mami Mizutori, Special Representative of the UN Secretary-General for Disaster Risk Reduction and Head of the United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction will then announce the launch of the Making Cities Resilient 2030 Initiative and highlight how cities can benefit from this initiative in further building their own climate resilience capacities.

Renewable Energy In Cities: Opportunities For Green Growth Through Recovery Packages

The event showcases the opportunities that renewables present for cities to achieve a wide range of objectives, including fighting air pollution, improving public health, mitigating climate change and how cities can enable the transition to renewables. The Corona pandemic makes the importance of a clean and resilient energy system even more evident. This event brings in perspectives for green recovery of energy systems in cities and communities.

Transformative Urban Coalitions – Triggering Social Tipping Dynamics For Zero-Carbon Cities

Achieving rapid global decarbonization critically depends on activating processes of transformative urban change towards zero carbon cities within the next few years. This requires overcoming institutional, technological, cognitive, political, and infrastructural path dependencies and power structures – and replacing high-carbon trajectories with new approaches for accelerated urban change. Such strategies can therefore not only rely on “technological fixes”, they require broader attention to social tipping dynamics, including robust (new) transformational actor coalitions. In this panel, we want to discuss the potential of activating these new actor constellations and new approaches to trigger social change towards zero carbon cities/decision making. Ideas and best practices on how to engage formal and informal urban influencers to form and sustain novel urban coalitions holistic approaches will be shared and discussed.

Enabling Circular Economy Through Reduction And Scientific Management Of Plastic Waste

The session is organised by ICLEI South Asia and Alliance to End Plastic Waste (AEPW) and aims to deliberate on opportunities offered by circular economy measures and identify concrete actions to catalyse a transition to a circular economy and address the growing plastic waste menace. The session will also highlight the crucial role played by the private sector in driving the development of innovative business models, packaging design, materials and technologies in line with the circular economy. The outcomes envisaged from the session include:

• Establish the need for an effective waste management infrastructure to implement the waste hierarchy, upscale the cycling of plastics in the economy, and prevent leakage into the environment.
• Improve political and public awareness of the impacts of plastic pollution in the environment
• Explore opportunities for recovering the value of plastic as a resource through circular economy tools by engaging public and private sectors

Nature-Based Solutions In South America: Engaging Multiple Stakeholders

Although the concept of Nature-Based Solutions is not disseminated in South America compared to other contexts, there are already some successful experiences of NBS implemented locally as a way of improving biodiversity and addressing critical issues that affect urban system functionality, mainly including basic social problems such as poor sanitation and building urban resilience to threats such as floods and landslides. This event aims to connect and provide a space for dialogue and exchange of experiences for the stakeholders involved with NBS implementation, monitoring and dissemination in South America in order to foster this agenda in the region. It is also an opportunity to discuss and showcase how Nature Based Solutions can contribute locally to the Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework.

The Role of Transport in Urban Resilience: Responding to COVID-19, Climate Emergency and Other Crises

As governments focus their attention on addressing the COVID-19 pandemic in their countries, it will be of utmost importance that other priorities such as climate change or road safety are not scaled back. The fear is that the threat of COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on public transport and prompt more people to choose individual car-based transport. But the world cannot accept further delays and cancellation of planned legislation and infrastructure implementations that impact on sustainable urban mobility. Post-COVID-19, cities will have to promote more sustainable pathways, in which economic development is decoupled from private motorization – in order to enhance the cities’ resilience of future crises. Previous crises have shaped how cities are planned and how people move in them. We have a window of opportunity to learn from the current pandemic and to build back better by making our mobility systems more resilient and responsive to crises.

Driving the Green Recovery and Redesign: Embedding Local Climate Action at the Heart of Economic Stimulus Packages – Session 2

With the global Coronavirus pandemic, every sector of society across the globe has been impacted. The work to address climate change is being reprioritized, interrupted or delayed. Local and regional governments have had to redeploy sustainability resources to ensure immediate safeguarding of their residents and employees. At the international level, we are experiencing major disruptions of the global climate process. COP26 has been delayed to 2021. Regional Climate Weeks have been canceled and the regular mid-year negotiations in Bonn, which usually take place in June, have been postponed. But climate science hasn’t changed. The climate emergency is still happening right now, in our cities, towns and regions around the world. High-level representatives from local, regional and national governments, as well as from the business and finance sector, will discuss the challenges and opportunities for putting integrated climate action at the core of local economic stimulus packages for aiding the recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, and the criticality of making financial resources available to those cities, towns and regions working to tackle the climate emergency.

Driving the Green Recovery and Redesign: Embedding Local Climate Action at the Heart of Economic Stimulus Packages – Session 1

Led by the Ministry of the Environment Japan, supported by the UNFCCC, and managed by the Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES), the Redesign2020 Platform was launched on 3 September 2020 through a high level virtual event that gathered 50+ ministers across the world. The Platform for Redesign 2020 is an initiative to enhance international solidarity in addressing two crises at the same time: climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic. The initiative introduces the concept of “redesign” as complementary to response and recovery efforts, defining it as, “paradigm shifts and measures in the long term – more than a few years to a few decades – toward redesigning current socioeconomic and sociocultural systems to be sustainable and resilient.“ The session aims to highlight details of the concept, share the outcomes of High Level Launch and focus on the options for collaboration with local and regional on the road to COP26.

Social Equity As An Essential Component Of Urban Resilience

The need for transformational planning in the face of the climate crisis and the COVID-19 pandemic requires a discussion of cities and experts on the effective and just delivery of services and infrastructure. A whole-of-a society and human-rights approach along with permanent community engagement in the decision-making processes is essential to build inclusive urban resilience. This session will showcase city experiences from the global south and north facing disasters with a holistic, intersectional and radical approach.

Nature-Based Solutions For Cities – How To Make The Case?

Nature-based solutions are now widely accepted as a means of adapting cities to climate change and reducing risks from natural hazards. However, despite growing evidence on their potential and an increasing number of implementing cities their use is still patchy. The session will explore on barriers but also promising ways forward, including from best practices from frontrunner cities in different ecosystems, research findings and capacity building activities. The session will also explore how the perception and use of urban green areas changed in the context of COVID-19 and what opportunities this change might present for the acceleration of NbS uptake.