Investing in SDG 11: fitter finance for sustainable cities

  • April 18, 2018

  • New York, United States

  • What:

    Enhancing Subnational Government financing strategies to achieve
    SDG 11

  • When:

    25 April 2018,

    8:00am - 9:30am

  • Where:

    UN Secretariat, Conference Room 5

  • Who:

    United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat)

The United Cities and Local Governments (UCLG), the United Nations Capital Development Fund (UNCDF), and the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) aim to bridge the knowledge gap on the involvement of local governments in Financing for Development, in particular on how to enhance the sub national finance engineering and improve the monitoring of paragraph 34 of the Addis Agenda. This year the debate gains particular relevance in order to find efficient financing strategies to achieve SDG 11 and interrelated targets of SDGs.

There is wide consensus on the fact that local level and local solutions have become part of the global response to sustainable development and to wider challenges such as sustainable and inclusive urbanization with emphasis on adequate housing as well as climate change, migration, and disaster risk reduction to name a few. As the proportion of urban population increases in the next decades, local and regional governments will play a key role in providing goods, services and infrastructure to a growing population.

However, while their responsibilities are increasing, many subnational governments, especially in the case of secondary cities in the least developed countries, do not currently have access to the required recurrent resources to finance the necessary changes and adaptations that need to be in place to manage sustainable development.

Therefore, it is all the more crucial for Member States and the international community to commit themselves to support subnational governments in utilizing their comparative advantage to plan in a more participatory way.

Access to finance for long term investments in support of inclusive and sustainable local development is among the most significant challenges to achieve truly transformative reforms. As the commitments of paragraph 34 calls for, subnational governments should be acknowledged as development partners in national strategies to meet growing demands for clean and affordable energy, efficient public transportation, adequate housing, decent jobs, resilient infrastructure, and accessible basic services.

Objectives of the side event

The event has two main objectives:

  1. Share lessons from and identify two-three successful examples of cities’ access to finance for long term investments.
  2. Share and identify specific lessons and recommendations going forward for how to cultivate an enabling environment that promotes SNG access to long-term financing, facilitate the development of appropriate financing instruments, and strengthen financial intermediaries such as multilateral development banks.

Collateral objectives

  • Acknowledging the underpinning conditions enabling local and regional governments’ contribution to financing SDG 11 – with a focus on adequate housing; affordable and clean public transport; affordable energy; and clean water and sanitation.
  • Sharing knowledge to build partnerships at the local level, in order to strengthen inter-linkages between SDG 11, SDG 6 and SDG 7 and develop integrated financial strategies.


Simona Santoro
Policy Specialist

Abbreviated Agenda

Opening by Emilia Sáiz, Secretary General UCLG

Presentation by Prof. Paul Smoke: Enhancing Sub-National Governments development finance: the case of financial intermediaries

Interactive discussion with Q&A (in response to Prof. Smoke’s presentation):

  • Mayor of Ouagadougou, Board member of the Association Internationale des Maires Francophones.
  • Metropolitan Chief Executive of Tema, Board member of the Commonwealth Local Governments Forum.

Investing in SDG 11: fitter finance for sustainable cities

25 Apr 2018 @ 8:00am - 9:30am

Enhancing Subnational Government financing strategies to achieveSDG 11