The Urban20 (U20) Mayoral Summit will be held in Ahmedabad on July 7-8 during India’s G20 presidency, the Union Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs announced today.
The Summit will be attended by more than 20 Mayors from across the world and about 25 Mayors from Indian cities will share the experiences of their respective city level actions and initiatives. The summit will also be attended by delegates representing various cities, knowledge partners, Indian and international organizations, academic institutes and dignitaries from the Government of India and the State Government, the official statement said.
U20 is a city diplomacy initiative, comprising cities from G20 countries, emphasizing the role of cities in taking forward the global agenda for sustainable development through collaboration among cities. Ahmedabad is the U20 Chair for the current sixth cycle and is supported by the National Institute of Urban Affairs (NIUA) as the Technical Secretariat, and the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs (MoHUA) as the nodal ministry.
The most U20 cities have ever had in-person attendees at one event, the U20 City Sherpa conference in February 2023, was a success. The U20 Communiqué’s six priority areas were discussed and decided upon. These six goals are indicative of the urgent problems and difficulties that cities around the world are currently experiencing. These include promoting local culture and economy, promoting ecologically friendly behaviour, speeding climate finance, assuring water security, catalysing digital urban futures, and redefining frameworks for urban government and planning.
Besides the deliberations among Mayors, one of the highlights of the upcoming Mayoral Summit will be four thematic sessions focusing on U20 priorities. Six white papers focusing on the six U20 priorities will also be released in these sessions by the dignitaries. Another exclusive session for Mayors will be a round table on climate finance led by U20 Conveners, UCLG and C40 and the cities of Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo and Ahmedabad.
Spotlight sessions are scheduled during the Summit to focus on aspects of urban resilience, city readiness for investments, inclusion, circular economy and data driven governance, showcasing the research and works being undertaken by organizations in various cities across India and the world.
The key outcome of any U20 Mayoral Summit is the handover of the U20 Communiqué by the attending Mayors to the G20 leaders. The U20 Communiqué is an action-oriented collaboratively prepared document that brings to the fore the role that cities can play in taking forward G20 agenda and includes recommendations and endorsements from a number of cities.
The event will also host an exhibition showcasing India’s urban story, especially city level successes, notable projects and innovative initiatives. There will also be a screening of select films to help raise awareness about the multifaceted impacts of climate change on urban areas and vice versa.
As part of the Mayoral Summit, participating Mayors and delegates would also be taken for city excursions to Ahmedabad’s historic streets and monuments and introduced to the city’s vibrant culture. Mayors will also be planting trees at the U20 Udyan and visit the Sabarmati Ashram. A number of cultural programmes and experiences have been planned for the guests, showcasing Gujarat’s and India’s rich cultural heritage on the whole.