The global decentralization trend has made cities worldwide responsible for providing solutions to increasingly urgent and complex dynamics. Climate change, growing inequality, food insecurity, migration, epidemics, and so on: cities today face challenges that are global in nature but primarily urban in impact.
In order to enable municipalities to address such arduous challenges successfully, an innovative methodology has been progressively structured over the past decades: city diplomacy.
Indeed, the added value of this approach lies in its ability to attract three different types of resources to the territory:
- Technical resources: identifying and adopting the most effective and suitable methodologies to manage the local component of the aforementioned challenges sustainably.
- Political resources: strengthening international cooperation and friendship on a regional and global scale while enhancing the capacity of cities to develop joint advocacy on values and priorities.
- Financial resources: accessing foreign and international funding sources available to cities and suitable for realizing their respective sustainable and resilient development goals of the short, medium, and long term.
Although there is now ample evidence of the added value of such an approach in each of a municipality’s areas of action, its spread remains very limited today, being fully applied by only a small number of global cities across the world.
To enable an increasing number of cities to benefit from the advantages of city diplomacy, the City Diplomacy Lab is collaborating with the Columbia Global Centers network to implement capacity development programs on a global scale.
- Mixed migration and city diplomacy training for cities along the Central Mediterranean Route, in partnership with Columbia Global Centers | Tunis, Columbia Global Centers | Nairobi, the Mixed Migration Centre, and UNHCR | December 2023
- City diplomacy training program for South African cities, in partnership with the South African Cities Network (SACN) | June-August 2023.
- 2022 pilot program for French-speaking African cities, in partnership with Columbia Global Centers | Tunis and the International Association of Francophone Mayors (AIMF) | May-June 2022.