- Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy, European Commission
The European Union undertook a Voluntary Commitment, in framework of the Habitat III Conference of 2016, to expand opportunities for city-to-city cooperation at regional and international level, and in that way to contribute to implementing the New Urban Agenda, notably by fostering capacity building through knowledge-sharing, exchanges of experience and mutual learning on sustainable urban development policy and practice, in a multi-stakeholder approach involving all relevant actors.
Accordingly, this event aims to present the actions undertaken by the EU to deliver this Voluntary Commitment under the EU funded International Urban Cooperation programme (IUC; www.iuc.eu) and World Cities project (www.world-cities.eu). These innovative projects and programmes seek to promote sustainable patterns of urban development in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals, through encouraging participating cities to exchange good practices in urban policy and governance, as well as sharing information on trends and dynamics in the field of sustainable and integrated urban development, and to develop shared urban projects.
IUC aims to enhance the impact of city-to-city cooperation on sustainable urban development through deepening the methodological basis and capacity for implementing local action planning. Cities in the EU have been selected to pair with likeminded partners in North America, Latin America, China, South-East Asia, India and Japan. Together they are developing and implementing, through a participatory process and over a 12-18 months period, local action plans on a common urban priority identified by the cities themselves.
The World Cities project, 2014-2018, has created nine urban cooperation platforms between EU cities and counterparts, respectively, in China, India, Japan, Canada, Indonesia, Vietnam, South Africa, South Korea and Australia. In total, 65 cities have participated in the platform which has facilitated the exchange of information and good practices on urban development policy issues on an international scale, including development of joint concrete projects for implementation