Jane McRae is the Chief Executive Officer at Sustainable Cities
Sustainable Cities was recently contracted by UCLG (United Cities and Local Governments) to write a chapter on current trends in strategic planning in North America. The contribution went into a report that included policy recommendations to national governments on behalf of local governments. The Strategic Planning Committee presented the report at the Congress, and this gave me the opportunity to participate in the committee’s internal planning meetings. I viewed this as a dual opportunity to further my own learning about what is going on in cities outside the Sustainable Cities Network, and to raise our profile.
Over 2000 representatives of local governments and their stakeholders from 114 countries attended the Congress, and I realized that while UCLG is a major convener and voice for cities and local governments, they can’t do it all and they can’t do it alone. They need to align with Networks like ours that accelerate the transfer of innovations and motivate change through more direct interactions with our member cities.
It was also fun to re-connect with some of our colleagues from Durban, Dar es Salaam, Colima, Chihuahua, and elsewhere and to realize that we have had a role in the amazing progress these cities have made towards their respective sustainability initiatives!