Cities leading the transformation: SDGs in action and the new multilateralism

A round table of the Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE region | 29 March 2023 from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. CET | Hybrid format both in presence at conference room XIX, Palais des Nations, Geneva and online | Interpretation in English, French, and Russian.

Approximately 75% of emissions originate from cities, whilst by 2050, urban areas are expected to house over two-thirds of the global population. Cities will therefore play a critical role in the push to achieve sustainable development. Cities are also the site of tackling complex local issues such as housing, energy, transportation, waste and water management, disaster risk reduction, air pollution, population aging, urban mobility, urban food systems, and many others. Returning the famous phrase “Think Global, Act Local” to its origin in urban planning, this session will highlight the multiple levels at which cities operate, from policies and action at the local level driving forward solutions and positive change to forging strategic international partnerships to increase their relevance and impact in global matters. The session will include senior figures from municipal bodies across the region who will share experiences on specific actions and projects undertaken to meet the relevant SDG 11 targets, as well as representatives from international strategic partnerships who will speak to this city-based ‘new multilateralism.’

The roundtable is organized by the UNECE Forests, Land and Housing Division in cooperation with UN-Habitat Geneva Liaison Office and will feature the participation of Dr. Lorenzo Kihlgren Grandi, founding director of the City Diplomacy Lab, a UNECE Center of Excellence on Sustainable Urban Development.


The Regional Forum on Sustainable Development for the UNECE region is a broadly recognized platform that has brought together a growing number of actors and groups since its first stand-alone session in 2017.

Representatives of national and local governments, as well as of civil society, youth, businesses, international and regional organizations, academia, and parliamentarians, will participate in and contribute to the Regional Forum.

To find out more about the Regional Forum, please visit this page.