The world we live in has been transformed in a manner not witnessed in recent times. The coronavirus pandemic has triggered what arguably is the worst public health crisis in a century and the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. In a rapidly urbanizing and globalized world, cities have been the epicentres of COVID-19. The virus has spread to virtually all parts of the world; first, among globally connected cities, and now, through community transmission and from the city to the countryside.
The World Cities Report 2020 shows that the intrinsic value of sustainable urbanization can and should be harnessed for the wellbeing of all. The Report provides evidence and policy analysis of the value of urbanization from an economic, social and environmental perspective, including the unquantifiable value that gives cities their unique character; and also explores the role of innovation and technology, local governments, targeted investments and the effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda in fostering the value of sustainable urbanization.
The World Cities Report 2020 convincingly affirms that well-planned, managed, and financed cities and towns create value that can be harnessed to build resilient cities that can bounce back from the devastating impacts of pandemics, improve the quality of life of all residents, and can be leveraged in the fight against poverty, inequality, unemployment, climate change and other pressing global challenges.
As the world enters the Decade of Action to deliver the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030, the policy recommendations in this Report will be beneficial to governments at all levels, enabling them deliver programmes and strategies that enhance the value of sustainable urbanization, and in the process, contribute to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals through the effective implementation of the New Urban Agenda.