Global Town Hall started with the Sustainable Urban Development Day on 18 June and a series of exemplary local contributions to achieving it. The City of Changsha, China, together with the China Entrepreneurs Union and UNEP, gave concrete demonstrations of how Chinese cities can enhance resiliency, attain low carbon growth, build smart infrastructure and foster a green urban economy, thus supporting sustainable development, especially in a context of rapid urbanization.
The preview, by CBD and Stockholm Resilient Center, of the Cities and Biodiversity Outlook, gave an insight on the first global assessment of the links between urbanization, biodiversity and ecosystem services, that promotes cities as agents of biodiversity.
The City of Gwangju, Korea, supported by UNEP, highlighted the role of common tools and measures in resource efficiency in assisting cities to access carbon finance mechanisms; during the session, it also revealed its voluntary commitments to zero-energy through a resource circulation system, green cars and clean fuel, improvement of air quality and water quality innovation.
The City of Oslo, on behalf of the 8 Nordic capitals (Europe) presented a whole catalogue of replicable solutions to current challenges, underlying the key role of exchange, connections and integration among cities.
Another example of integration and joint work was given by the City of Chicago, ICLEI USA and Office Depot, presenting the Green Office challenge as a highly scalable model for public-private partnerships focused on sustainability.