ICLEI network unites in Montréal, releases new vision for the urban era

Local and regional governments across the ICLEI network are driving a global urban transformation.


At the ICLEI World Congress in Montréal, the ICLEI Council announced a new strategic vision for tackling the development challenges of today’s urban era. The vision, outlined in the ICLEI Montréal Commitment, scales up ambition for sustainable development and charts a path towards systemic urban change. The commitment also formally retires the ICLEI 10 urban agendas and introduces integrated ICLEI pathways: a dynamic approach that positions local and regional governments to implement systemic change in their communities.


These interconnected pathways, which will guide ICLEI’s organizational strategy through 2024, include:

  • Low emission development
  • Nature-based development
  • Circular development
  • Resilient development
  • Equitable and people-centered development


ICLEI offices from Japan to Brazil are already working directly with local and regional governments to advance along the five pathways. As of June 2018, more than 130 concrete actions and initiatives are reported in the ICLEI Montréal Action Plan, also presented at the World Congress. “City and regional leaders across the ICLEI network are scaling up ambition and taking worldwide action,” said Ashok Sridharan, Mayor of Bonn and President of ICLEI. “We have come together at the ICLEI World Congress in Montréal to invigorate collective action and hold ourselves up as the torchbearers of change in the urban context.”


As urbanization accelerates, nations and global actors are recognizing the importance of cities in confronting global climate and sustainability challenges. Urban areas account for about 70 percent of global energy consumption and related greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, urban sprawl is accelerating land use changes and global biodiversity loss, occuring at unprecedented rates. This makes work at the city level, as championed by ICLEI, crucial to achieving global goals.


Urban transformation worldwide will shift the trajectory of global development,” said Gino Van Begin, Secretary General of ICLEI. “The ICLEI Montréal Commitment and Strategic Vision is a path and a pledge to advance the goals and aspirations set in the global sustainable development agenda.”


Find the full text of the ICLEI Montréal Commitment and Strategic Vision and the ICLEI Montréal Action Plan, here.

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