September 14, 2022 – On September 13, the first-ever meeting of G7 Ministers for Urban Development took place in Potsdam, Germany. GPM Chair Mayor Peter Kurz (Mannheim, Germany) was invited by Minster Klara Geywitz to represent the Urban7 at this groundbreaking meeting.
GPM Chair Mayor Kurz exchanged intensively with the ministers on topics ranging from climate change to the rebuilding of Ukraine’s cities. This meeting marked exciting progress toward the GPM’s vision of a future in which mayors are equal partners in building global governance for an inclusive and sustainable world. The Urban7 Alliance is led by the Global Parliament of Mayors, the Association of German Cities, and ICLEI, and comprises the national city networks of the G7 member states. The U7’s work in 2022 has been supported by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Service Agency Communities in One World. The GPM, together with the entire Urban7 Alliance, actively contributed to the Urban Development Minsters’ Communiqué, which lays out exciting new priorities and commitments. Several GPM Initiatives were highlighted directly, including the U7, the U7 Mayors Declaration, and the Global Declaration of Mayors for Democracy. Furthermore, the ministers committed to “increasing the involvement of cities in the development and implementation of urban development policies” and acknowledged that “good multi-level and multi-stakeholder cooperation and the participation of all concerned inhabitants at the local level create the preconditions for successfully addressing global challenges.”
GPM Chair Mayor Kurz reflected on his participation in the Meeting: “I was delighted to represent the U7 Alliance as the voice of cities at this event. This is an important milestone since it will only be possible to find solutions to the global challenges of our time if cities are involved. Our shared mission includes combating climate change and achieving equitable transformation through, for example, sustainable construction, changing mobility and energy supply, and affordable housing.
The final Communiqué of the ministerial meeting highlights the role of resilient, sustainable, climate-friendly, and public good-oriented cities. The Urban7 Mayors’ Declaration and many of our key messages were particularly recognized in the communiqué. We are pleased that the U7 Alliance was also named in the text by the ministers as an important partner. Urban development policy must be strengthened, and cities must be at the table when international agreements are reached. Potsdam sends the clear signal that only with the cities – with the local level – will international policy be able to affect change decisively on the ground.”
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