Today, cities occupy just 2.6% of the earth’s crust, but are home to more than 50% of the world’s population, generate more than 80% of the world’s GDP and use 75% of the world’s natural resources. The UN estimates that our global population will rise to 9.6 billion by 2050. The majority of this growth will occur in cities, with an estimated 66% of the global population living in urban areas by 2050. Cities are evolving faster than at any point in our history, putting them on the cusp of major transformation which, if managed well, could lead to unprecedented economic growth and prosperity for all, but if managed in an uncoordinated manner could drive social, economic and environmental decline.
The Forum has the unique breadth and depth of expertise through its multi-stakeholder networks to drive change and provide a global platform that will enable city leaders to debate the city governance, policies and regulation required to enable action, resulting in vital investment in the delivery of innovative, sustainable and affordable urban infrastructure and services. The multiplier effect of mobilizing the required investment will be manifold in improved human-centric, high-quality, sustainable, affordable urban services.
The initiative serves as a partner in the transformation of cities around the world, as they address major urban challenges. The initiative has developed a strong brand and is recognized by our Partners as the Forum’s central project dealing with urban development and the transformation of cities.
As mandated at our Annual Meeting in Davos in January 2017, the initiative will provide a unique opportunity to engage city leaders, business leaders, experts and civil society in an urban strategic dialogue series. The objective of this dialogue is to develop policy solutions that accelerate the delivery of human-centered, innovative, sustainable and affordable urban infrastructure and services required to prepare cities for the future. The initiative will undertaken the following activities during 2017:
Migration & Cities: Undertake a deep dive on migration and cities, exploring the types, causes and patterns of migration to cities, the impact on urban infrastructure and services, reach out to cities to hear how they are impacted, highlight innovative solutions that can be employed in the context of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and highlight how greater public private collaboration can enable cities to be better prepared and respond to this growing challenge.
The Sharing & Circular Economy & Cities: Assess the opportunities presented by the Sharing and Circular Economy to cities and how policy and regulation can be designed to enable these new business models to co-exist with traditional business models.
Affordable Housing: Explore the factors that drives the housing affordability challenge in different cities in different regions of the world, the solutions that can be employed and how greater public private colloboration can assist.