World Cities Day

  • October 31, 2022

  • New York, United States

First celebrated in 2014, October 31st is World Cities Day, with this year's theme being "Act Local to Go Global."

Copyright © UN-Habitat | Hector Bayona

World Cities Day expects to promote cooperation and interest in global urbanization, meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of sustainable global urban development. This year's theme looks to share different experiences and approaches to local action; what worked and what lacked when needing to empower local governments to create more equitable, greener and sustainable cities.

Ideally, urbanization provides the potential for new forms of social inclusion, including greater equality, access to services and mobilization, consequentially reflecting the diversity of cities, countries and the world. However, this is not always the case. Urban development more often than not is filled with inequality and exclusion, as well as unsustainable.

How UNCDF supports cities:

UN-Habitat – the UN agency for cites, and UN Capital Development Fund (UNCDF) – the UN’s hub for sub-national finance, have joined forces through the SDG Cities Global Initiative to help cities reach their unmet financing needs for sustainable development via The Cities Investment Facility.

Cities will be given access to advice, resources and technical assistance to strengthen local revenue, improve public financial management, improve creditworthiness, enhance capital investment planning, apply for customized financing and implementation vehicles including municipal loans and equity investment, and access blended capital for SDG impact projects.

The Cities Investment Facility, powered by UNCDF's Dual Key programme, is an innovative, multi-stakeholder initiative centered around unlocking investment in urban infrastructure projects in low- and middle-income markets that have traditionally struggled with project preparation and bankability. This is achieved by supporting project promoters with (i) the marketing of their projects to a global audience of construction finance providers; (ii) advice regarding the ideation, feasibility, development, and financial closure processes; and (iii) funding (both grant and private capital) for these processes, with the ultimate goal of securing construction financing from other external lenders and investors.

UNCDF also supports cities through it's IncluCity initiative. A new global initiative currently being piloted in Bangladesh, Uganda and Senegal. It contributes to the commitments under SDGs 1, 5, 9, 10 and 11 with particular focus on reducing inequalities and alleviating poverty among the most vulnerable populations including women and girls, minorities and other marginalized groups through increased investments in municipal services and infrastructure.

IncluCity is a programme built on UNCDF's past and current experiences in inclusive economic development and municipal financing. The programme’s unique approach ties together a focus on inclusion with the investment agenda for cities. The programme focuses on the peripheries of cities with low productivity and greater inequalities and provide innovative financing solutions to address these challenges. With strong partnerships with the city mayors and municipalities, IncluCity provides a comprehensive approach to city planners through technical assistance, new tools and direct financing to test innovative solutions to address growing inequalities

Learn more about UNCDF and SDG 11 HERE.