10 July 2023

U7 Brings Urban Perspective to G7 Sustainable Urban Development Ministers Meeting in Takamatsu, Kagawa

The Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism (MLIT) of Japan

Representing the Urban7, Mayor Kizō Hisamoto (Kobe, Japan) joined the G7 ministers for urban development in Takamatsu, Kagawa to address pressing issues facing cities. The meeting, which took place from July 7 - 9, marked the second time that a mayor has directly participated in a G7 ministerial meeting. In 2022, Mayor Peter Kurz (Mannheim, Germany) represented the Urban7 at the G7 Ministers Meeting for Sustainable Urban Development in Potsdam, Germany.

At the meeting in Takamatsu, Mayor Hisamoto, who also serves as President of the Japan Designated City Mayors' Association (JDCMA), presented the perspective of the Urban7 on issues ranging from the role of local government in protecting peace and democracy to resilience and climate neutrality.

The Urban7 lauds the G7 ministers for urban development for their decision to include the Urban7 in their meeting and in the preparations for the summit. The Urban7 was consulted in the drafting of the G7 Sustainable Urban Development Ministers’ Communiqué, which lays out the priorities and commitments of the ministers. In particular, the group offered input on multi-level governance and the importance of greater partnership and cooperation between different levels of government.

In their Communiqué, the ministers explicitly acknowledged, “that cities play an important role, individually and as part of an effective network, in providing innovative, integrated and advanced solutions for these challenges that can enable a just and green transition on the journey to net zero patterns of production and consumption.” Furthermore, the ministers recognised the Urban7 Mayors Declaration, in which mayors laid out their expectations and priorities for the Japanese G7 Presidency. Finally, the ministers highlighted the importance of the engagement of the Urban7 in the process of planning the meeting.

2023 U7 Group Chair and JDCMA President Mayor Kizō Hisamoto (Kobe, Japan) said: “I am pleased that the U7 Mayors Declaration was strongly recognised by the G7 ministers, emphasising that cities play an important role in addressing global challenges and promoting multi-level governance, which was clearly reflected in the Communiqué and in the Kagawa-Takamatsu Principles.”

Representing the U7 Secretariat as Chair of the Global Parliament of Mayors, Mayor Peter Kurz (Mannheim, Germany) said: “For the second year in a row, G7 ministers for urban development have included the Urban7 as a partner in their discussions and setting shared commitments. I was honoured to participate in the ministers meeting last year, and am pleased that Mayor Hisamoto was able to engage actively with the ministers under the Japanese G7 Presidency. I am optimistic that this format will become a tradition that will ensure better policy and thus better outcomes across the G7.”

Des Moines (USA) Mayor Frank Cownie, representing the U7 Secretariat as ICLEI President, said: "ICLEI's network of local and regional governments welcomes the 2023 G7 Urbanisation Ministerial Communique in connecting net zero and resilient cities with inclusivity and digitalisation through a close collaboration with all levels of governments. The 2023 G7 Urbanisation Communique strengthens the upcoming inaugural G7 Roundtable on Subnational Climate Action with U7 as well as presenting a clear response to the first ever climate resolution adopted a few weeks ago at the 2nd UN Habitat Assembly. This comprehensive vision will provide a strong support to position urbanisation and multi-level action at the heart of the new generation of national climate plans starting with the first global stocktake of the Paris Agreement at COP28 in Dubai in December 2023. ICLEI will continue to support these efforts both globally as the LGMA Focal Point and U7 Secretariat as well as by actively engaging in national efforts such as the Cities Forward Initiative announced at the Cities Summit of Americas."