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ICLEI releases new vision for urban era

ICLEI, an international sustainability organisation comprising more than 1,500 local and regional governments, on Wednesday, June 20, 2018 announced a new strategic vision to tackle development challenges of today’s urban era at its World Congress in Montréal, Canada.

ICLEI Congress

A session at the ICLEI World Congress in Montréal, Canada

The vision, outlined in the ICLEI Montréal Commitment, scales up ambition for sustainable development and charts a path towards systemic urban change. The commitment also formally retires the ICLEI 10 urban agendas and introduces integrated ICLEI pathways: a dynamic approach that positions local and regional governments to implement systemic change in their communities.

These interconnected pathways, which will guide ICLEI’s organisational strategy through 2024, include:

  • Low emission development
  • Nature-based development
  • Circular development
  • Resilient development
  • Equitable and people-centered development
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ICLEI offices from Japan to Brazil are already working directly with local and regional governments to advance along the five pathways. As of June 2018, more than 130 concrete actions and initiatives are reported in the ICLEI Montréal Action Plan, also presented at the World Congress.

“City and regional leaders across the ICLEI network are scaling up ambition and taking worldwide action,” said Ashok Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn and President of ICLEI. “We have come together at the ICLEI World Congress in Montréal to invigorate collective action and hold ourselves up as the torchbearers of change in the urban context.”

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As urbanisation accelerates, nations and global actors are recognising the importance of cities in confronting global climate and sustainability challenges. Urban areas account for about 70 percent of global energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions.

Meanwhile, urban sprawl is accelerating land use changes and global biodiversity loss, occuring at unprecedented rates. This makes work at the city level, as championed by ICLEI, crucial to achieving global goals.

“Urban transformation worldwide will shift the trajectory of global development,” said Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI. “The ICLEI Montréal Commitment and Strategic Vision is a path and a pledge to advance the goals and aspirations set in the global sustainable development agenda.”

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