The unprecedented speed and scale of urbanisation in the first half of the 21st Century has fundamental implications for sustainable development; from climate change to jobs, from social cohesion to public health, from food security to resilience. Governments around the world, both national and sub-national, are increasingly concerned with the sustainable provision of food, water and energy security to urban populations. Furthermore, the relevance of urbanisation to sustainable development is being increasingly acknowledged at the global level. The importance of urbanisation and the role of cities are now enshrined in Agenda 2030 and referenced in the Paris Climate Change Agreement, the Sendai framework on Disaster Risk Reduction and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda on Finance for Development, and a growing number of stakeholders are working to make the transition to a more urbanised world both sustainable and equitable.
Despite these gains, there remains a lack of co-ordination and co-operation on this agenda. The ISU is therefore working with stakeholders to improve international knowledge exchange and leadership in this area, convening meetings at key global meetings such as the World Urban Forum, the Global Expo (2015) and most recently at Habitat III in 2016.
One area of particular interest for the ISU is the implementation of innovative food policies at the sub-national level by local governments and civil society organisations. An ISU published report, ‘Food in an Urbanised World’, examines what benefits a more local or ‘city-regional’ approach to food systems transformations could have. To read this report, please click here.