A look back at World Urban Forum 11 in Katowice – Regional Policy

07/11/2022

From June 26 to 30, 2022, a delegation from the European Commission, including DG REGIO, participated in the 11th session of the World Urban Forum (WUF). It is recognized as the primary global arena for interaction between key high-level policy makers, local government leaders, NGOs and stakeholders to discuss the challenges and solutions of global urbanization.

Commissioner Ferreira joined the opening ceremony of the online forum and made a statement on behalf of the European Union and its Member States, recalling in particular the EU’s commitment to sustainable urban development and the importance of maximizing the contribution of cities to the implementation of transformative change through the New Urban Agenda.

As this year’s World Urban Forum session unfolded in Katowice, Poland, special attention was given to showcasing the European perspective as part of the WUF 11 programme. Therefore, a special block of events called the European track was dedicated to the European dimension of sustainable urban development and just transformation of cities in the context of global challenges.

While the European track was organized by the Polish Ministry of Funds and Regional Policy as well as the Institute for Urban and Regional Development, the European Commission acted as a partner in this process in order to highlight the European dimension of the Forum and to provide additional content to enrich the discussion among stakeholders on various priority areas.

As part of a dedicated building block of the European track, the series of 14 events organized or co-organized by the European Commission highlighted the EU’s approach to integrated sustainable urban development across various dimensions. They complemented other European sessions and thematic areas by presenting key priorities to support cities and urban development actors to advance the green, digital and just transition in urban areas, showcasing a number of policies, initiatives, tools and methodologies.

One of the sessions was organized by DG REGIO and the Joint Research Center of the European Commission. The session titled Support for sustainable urban development in the EU – frameworks, practices and tools took place on June 27, 2022 and brought together representatives from various sectors and institutions. In particular, he highlighted the framework in place to support sustainable urban development in the EU through cohesion policy, the different parameters and opportunities for urban actors, as well as a number of tools available on the urban data platform +.

Another important event was the premiere of the World Cities Report 2022, published by UN-Habitat on June 29, 2022. DG REGIO, together with the JRC, contributed to the drafting of Chapter 2 of this report.

The launch of the second edition of the European Handbook for Voluntary Local Reviews of the SDGs, produced by the Joint Research Center also took place during the forum. The handbook helps cities measure their progress in implementing the Sustainable Development Goals at their level.

The event concluded with the adoption of the Declared actions of Katowicecontaining the filing of 6 actions by the European Union corresponding to its renewed voluntary commitments to implement the New Urban Agenda.

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