World Cities Day -- 31 October 2020

This year's theme is "Valuing Our Communities and Cities". World Cities Day is expected to greatly promote the international community’s interest in contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.



The impact of COVID-19 has re-shaped urban life around the world. The recognition of communities’ value must be maintained beyond the virus outbreak. In the transition to a new sustainable urban normality, local communities must play an expanded role supporting government stimulus packages for employment creation, delivery of essential services, ensuring a green-economic transformation, the provision of adequate shelter and public space and reestablishment of local value chains.

Global Biodiversity Outlook 5, a flagship report published recently by the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), underlines that humanity stands at a crossroads with regard to the legacy we wish to leave to future generations. This confirmed the most updated scientific analyses about the state of nature, in particular the 2019 IPBES Global Assessment Report on Biodiversity and Ecosystems Services. While there have been countless positive actions and achievements across the world to protect and integrate nature, the current rate of biodiversity loss is unprecedented and pressures are intensifying.

As World Cities Day is celebrated around the globe on 31 October, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability (a global network of local and regional governments committed to sustainable urban development) through its Cities Biodiversity Center and the CitiesWithNature initiative, pledge support for the Global Coalition for Biodiversity, launched by the European Commission to raise awareness about the need to protect biodiversity and promote stronger collaborative action.

The Global Coalition for Biodiversity offers the opportunity for all national parks, aquariums, research centers, botanic gardens, zoos, and science and natural history museums to join forces and boost public awareness about the nature crisis, ahead of the crucial COP15 of the Convention on Biological Diversity next year, when nations will adopt a Post-2020 Global Biodiversity Framework to protect and restore nature.

World Cities Day 2020


More Information:

UN Habitat: Global Observance of World Cities Day 2020

ICLEI: World Cities Day 2020 (Website)

Cities and Subnational Governments 

Statements on World Cities Day 2020

"When urban communities are engaged in policy and decision making, and empowered with financial resources, the results are more inclusive and durable. Let’s put our communities at the heart of the cities of the future."

Watch the full statement here

"Biodiversity is being lost at a faster rate than ever, significantly reducing nature's ability to ensure the well-being of people. It is time to rethink the relationship between humans and nature. It is within our cities and towns where multiple opportunities exist to raise awareness about the need to protect and respect nature, harness innovation, implement nature-based solutions and embrace a green recovery. Together, let’s take strong action to create vibrant cities, where people and biodiversity can thrive.”

Given the urgency for joint efforts to solve the current biodiversity crisis, on the occasion of the World Cities Day, we encourage local and regional governments from Europe and beyond to support the Global Coalition for Biodiversity launched by the European Commission. Only by working together with other organisations and institutions and by raising awareness about the need to protect biodiversity, can we reverse the current unprecedented biodiversity losses."