13 September 2022

U7 joins groundbreaking G7 Ministers Meeting on Urban Development

© Henning Schacht

The first-ever meeting of G7 Ministers for Urban Development took place in Potsdam, Germany on 13 September 2022. Mayor Peter Kurz (Mannheim, Germany) was invited by Minster Klara Geywitz to represent the Urban7 at this groundbreaking meeting. Timo Munzinger from the German Association of Cities and Wolfgang Teubner from ICLEI also joined the U7 delegation. Mayor Kurz exchanged intensively with the ministers on topics ranging from climate change to the rebuilding of Ukraine’s cities.

The Urban7 Alliance actively contributed to the Urban Development Ministers’ Communiqué, which lays out exciting new priorities and commitments. The Ministers committed to “continuing and intensifying dialogues” with urban partners, specifically naming the Urban7 as a key example. Furthermore, the Ministers committed to “increasing the involvement of cities in the development and implementation of urban development policies” and acknowledged that, “good multi-level and multi-stakeholder cooperation and the participation of all concerned inhabitants at the local level create the preconditions for successfully addressing global challenges.”

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz, who was also present, reflected, “It is important that those who are responsible for good urban development everywhere in the world come together and work together, exchange ideas and learn from each other.”

Mayor Kurz reflected on his participation in the Meeting, saying, "I was delighted to represent the U7 Alliance as the voice of cities at this event. This is an important milestone, since it will only be possible to find solutions to the global challenges of our time if cities are involved. Our shared mission includes combating climate change and achieving equitable transformation through, for example, sustainable construction, changing mobility and energy supply, and affordable housing.

The final Communiqué of the ministerial meeting highlights the role of resilient, sustainable, climate-friendly and public good-oriented cities. The Urban7 Mayors' Declaration and many of our key messages were particularly recognized in the communiqué. We are pleased that the U7 Alliance was also named in the text by the ministers as an important partner. Urban development policy must be strengthened, and cities must be at the table when international agreements are reached. Potsdam sends the clear signal that only with the cities – with the local level – will international policy be able to affect change decisively on the ground."

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© Henning Schacht

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© Henning Schacht