David Miller, Mayor of Toronto and Chair of C40 Cities
The Third Annual Meeting of the OECD Urban Roundtable of Mayors and Ministers on "Cities and Green Growth” organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) concluded on 25 May 2010 in Paris. Participants in the Roundtable underlined the central and critical role to be played by cities in successfully driving green growth on a global level. Read more.
The OECD Roundtable for Mayors and Ministers provides the preeminent forum to develop inter-governmental approaches for stronger, more effective urban policy. This video from the 3rd meeting, which focused on “Cities and Green Growth”, features interviews with Bordeaux Mayor Alain Juppé, Copenhagen Lord Mayor Frank Jensen, DKI Jakarta, Governor Fauzi Bowo, Melbourne Lord Mayor Robert Doyle, Toronto Mayor David Miller, and Yokohama Mayor Fumiko Hayashi.
What is the Urban Roundtable?
'A unique global platform for policy dialogue on the role of cities in fostering green growth'
The OECD Urban Roundtable of Mayors and Ministers is a unique global platform for addressing urban issues in a forum involving both national and local governments. In addition to its country delegate constituencies (comprised of high-level public officials from the 31 member countries), the OECD works directly with city and regional leaders, and major international associations of local governments. Since March 2007, this process has been formalised through the creation of the OECD Urban Roundtable for Mayors and Ministers, with the objective of fostering ongoing policy dialogue between local and national policy-makers responsible for urban policies. Read more.
'Mayors and ministers alike stressed that “urban-based” green growth policies can provide powerful answers for today’s economic crisis, as many cities are already promoting green growth through an arsenal of innovative policy tools.’
During the Roundtable, officials recognised the need for national and city leaders to work together to enhance cities’ capacity to act on green growth. Participants agreed that there is an urgent need for new urban finance instruments to power investments in green growth and for a common set of urban environmental and economic indicators that could facilitate the comparison of best practices and measure green jobs.
In a closing ceremony the OECD Secretary-General Gurría declared “We have reached a strong consensus around the conclusion that URBAN, GREEN and GROWTH can blend and complement each other to become an engine of intelligent recovery. Our cities are ‘green growth laboratories’. We must share this know-how.” Read Secretary-General's closing remarks.
David Miller, Mayor of Toronto and Chair of the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group added: “Mayors have shown time and again that they are embracing and implementing initiatives that bolster the green economy. But for these efforts to truly succeed, national and sub-national governments need to enact enabling legislation, allow access to resources and fully engage with cities around the shared goal of green growth and prosperity.
”Roundtable participants invited the OECD to continue assisting governments by:
developing the necessary tools to measure and monitor the impact of green growth initiatives;
identifying ways local and national governments can best collaborate to support innovation and investment in green sectors; and
providing an essential sounding board for the urban dimension in current global discussions on green growth, especially the OECD’s Green Growth Strategy.
OECD Comparative Study of Green Growth Strategies in Cities
Based on the Roundtable discussions, the OECD is launching a comparative study of urban green growth initiatives, including the development of indicators and case studies of cities. This study aims to systematise best practices, develop indicators and identify knowledge gaps in policy approaches to green economic growth and job creation in cities. It seeks to assist governments to evaluate the opportunities for pursuing urban growth through green industries and sustainable urban development strategies, by: i) identifying key indicators of green growth initiatives across metropolitan regions and ii)evaluating the impact of green growth projects on select indicators in 5 case study cities, including impact on jobs, costs and project timelines, integration with long-term city growth plans, environmental impact and contribution to technological innovation. For more information, please contact Lamia Kamal-Chaoui at Lamia.Kamal-Chaoui@oecd.org and Alexis Robert at Alexis.Robert@oecd.org.
What was the objective of this meeting?
'Identifying key policies for the contribution of cities to a global green growth strategy.'
The Urban Roundtable of Mayors and Ministers seeked to identify a common policy agenda for cities’ contribution to a green growth strategy. The OECD was mandated to develop a green growth strategy under the Declaration on Green Growth, adopted by Ministers of Economy, Finance, Trade and Foreign Affairs from 34 countries in June 2009. See OECD work on green growth, including the Interim Report.
Stakeholders addressed how existing models can be fine-tuned to create synergy, rather than conflict, between national and localised urban growth, sustainable development, and climate change action plans.
Roundtable participants shared best practices and identifed knowledge gaps in urban green growth strategies, centered on three main questions:
A new development model: what role for cities?
Creating Green jobs in cities: the potential and the reality
Implementing and Financing green urban development: how to optimise multi-level governance and public-private partnerships?
Display of Urban Best Practices from the Shanghai World Expo
Videos detailing a sustainable urban initiatives from the Urban Best Practices Area were on display at the Roundtable, such as Bremen’s car sharing program. The selected cities are hallmarks for urban sustainability and livability on display at the Shanghai World Expo 2010 whose theme is 'Better Cities, Better lives'. Madrid, a collaborator of the OECD Urban Roundtable since it’s inception, is also promoting sustainable urban development at the Expo.