Cities Summit @ UNEA4

Objectives for the Cities Summit
→ High level dialogue between mayors, ministers, private sector leaders and civil society representatives
on integrated, innovative solutions.
→ Kick-start partnerships on Integrated Urban Systems to be launched and promoted at key events, including International Conference on Climate Action, UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit, COP25, WUF10.
→ Establish the Cities Summit as part of future UN Environment Assemblies to highlight the importance of localizing the SDGs and allow for engagement with sub‑national leaders.


The global economy and population is growing, but the planet is not. We have to be smarter and more circular in the way we grow our cities where we expect an additional 2.5 billion people by 2050. Already sixty percent of our waste and three quarters of resource use and GHG emissions come from cities making them the best place to promote sustainable consumption and production. Taking a dual lens of SDGs 11 – Sustainable Cities, and 12 – Sustainable Consumption and Production allows us to implement solutions at city level to contribute to most if not all other SDGs.
Taking an integrated approach to urban infrastructure will be key to accelerate the transitions to circular and low-carbon economies. According to the “Weight of Cities” by the International Resource Panel, cities can achieve some 30-55% reduction of GHG emissions, water and metal consumption and land-use compared to baseline projections by leveraging connections and resource sharing across urban systems such as green buildings, district energy systems, bus rapid transport, the transition to renewables combined with strategic densification.

Within cities, integrated urban projects are piloted where cost-effective, but often without being linked to a broader policy and planning approach at the local and national levels. This results in missed opportunities and isolated demonstrations that are not replicated, scaled up, or considered in the context of sustainable development and climate strategies.


March 13 2019

ICRAF Auditorium, Nairobi, Kenya

For more information, please contact:

Martina Otto, Head, City Unit,

Lily Riahi, Global Lead, District Energy in Cities,


Follow Us on Social Media and use the hashtags below to make sustainable cities go viral!

#UNEA4 #CitiesSummit #SolveDifferent #Climate #Solutions #1o5C

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