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Second Annual Meeting of the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities

October 30-November 02, 2017

Taj Diplomatic Enclave, New Delhi, India


  • Currently comprised of 27 cities across 11 pilot countries, the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities, or GPSC, supports cities in their efforts to adopt an integrated approach to urban planning and financing.  

    Led by the World Bank and supported by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), in collaboration with development partners, the GPSC promotes sustainable development amidst rapid urbanization and works with practitioners and thought leaders from around the world in developing solutions for sustainable urban growth.

    At the annual forum, mayors and city leaders convene with experts from financial institutions, international organizations, UN agencies and the private sector, to share best practices in sustainable development planning and discuss policy options towards a common vision of urban sustainability. 

    The theme of the 2017 forum – ‘Innovation & Smart Solutions for Urban Sustainability’ – will be illustrated through the many scheduled events, including a Mayor’s RoundTable, high-level panel discussions and a series of in-depth learning events. 

    GPSC Second Annual Meeting: Innovation & Smart Solutions for Urban Sustainability

  • 2nd GPSC Annual Meeting Agenda—download here

    Parallel Learning Events
    Monday, 30th OctoberLearning event 1: Smart solutions for urban services
     Learning event 2: Municipal finance, bonds and PPPs
    GPSC Official Meeting
    Tuesday, 31st OctoberOpening Session:
     9:00 am to 12:30 pm
     Keynote speeches
     Mayors' RoundTable
     Afternoon session:
     13:30 pm – 17:30 pm
     Session One
     13:30 pm - 15:30 pm 
     Launching Urban Sustainability Framework: Urban sustainability action plans
     Session Two
     16:00 pm - 17:30 pm
     Financing Action Plans
    Wednesday, 1st NovemberPlenary Session:
     9:00 am to 12:00 pm
     Climate Change Dimension of Integrated Planning – Paris Agreement and city actions
     Closing session
     13:30 pm to 15:30 pm

    Keynote presentations

    Panel discussion – ‘Managing Urbanization’

    Reflections & next steps

    Thursday, 2nd NovemberSite visits and learning

    Meeting Program Description

    Learning Events

    Monday, 30th October

    Learning event 1: Smart solutions for urban services

    Rapid urbanization pose tremendous and evolving challenges for governments at all levels. How will cities better deliver services while also fulfilling their economic potential? One innovative solution for urban living has come to the fore: ‘using big data for delivering smart services’.

    In this session, seasoned experts demonstrate best-practice principles in integrating data and smart and sustainable city methodologies into urban planning across multiple sectors, including waste management. Leading examples of smart cities will share their planning strategies and the available tools that enhance efficiencies in service delivery and boost competitiveness as well as sustainability.

    Learning event 2: Municipal finance, bonds and PPPs

    Manifesting a city’s vision and strategy into reality requires securing adequate financing. Cities with the greatest infrastructure needs often lack the capacity and knowledge to develop investable projects. This is exacerbated by limited access to credit and an insufficient ability to take advantage of endogenous sources of finance that may be invested towards vital infrastructure investment.

    Supporting the efforts of cities in enhancing their municipal financial performance and identifying investment options is one of main objectives of the GPSC. This session introduces the fundamentals of creditworthiness and municipal finance, and discusses strategies for municipal governments to implement PPP projects.

    GPSC 2nd Annual Meeting

    Tuesday, October 31st

    9:00 am – 12:30 pm | Opening Plenary Session and Mayors’ Roundtable

    The plenary session brings together global thought leaders in urban planning to deliver keynote speeches, and also launches an exciting initiative: the National Platform for India Sustainable Cities – as part of knowledge network of the GPSC.

    A Mayors’ Roundtable entitled ‘Action Planning: From Vision to Action’ then convenes, and mayors and senior policy makers from around the world will discuss and share insights on delivering results and building a pathway to urban sustainability.

    At the session, experts will outline the foundation needed for creating sustainable action plans that capture the vision of its citizens and are implementable; and exchange examples that represent both challenging scenarios and good practice principles in leading their cities to achieve the goals of economic prosperity, environmental sustainability, inclusive growth and resilience.

    13:30 pm – 15:30 pm | Launch of the Urban Sustainability Framework: from Plans to Action

    An action plan serves as a roadmap for planners and practitioners, and clarifies the vision, actions and resources available for the proposed interventions. The GPSC’s Urban Sustainability Framework provides a basis for cities to assess their urban sustainability status and develop their action plans.  The session will share early insights of rapid assessment undertaken by the GPSC and other initiatives, as well as lessons learned from cities on the implementation of action plans.

    16:00 pm – 17:30 pm | Plenary session: Financing Action Plans

    International financial institutions, or IFIs, have launched initiatives that link technical assistance programs to urban investments. In this session, representatives from various IFIs will discuss the value chain of translating technical policy support to on-the-ground investment, and opportunities for leveraging different sources of financing.

    18:00 pm to 20:00 pm |  Reception

    GPSC 2nd Annual Meeting

    1st November, Wednesday

    09:00 am – 12:00 pm | Climate Change and Integrated Planning – How Cities are Manifesting the Paris Agreement

    Climate change is a concern for many countries. The historic Paris Agreement signed by 195 countries during COP21 committed countries to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by the year 2020. Cities are playing an ever-increasing role in this endeavor to reduce the pace of climate change, and is demonstrating leadership as well as implementing ambitious plans to mitigate the impact of global warming.

    In the lead-up to COP23, this session will explore how cities are adopting integrated planning to become more resilient to climate change. Presenters will showcase innovative initiatives in various cities and highlight the tools, technologies, and investment opportunities that enable low-carbon and resilient development.

    13:30 pm – 15:30 pm | Closing session: Managing Urbanization and GPSC Work Plan

    As millions of people move into cities each year, ‘managing urbanization’ will become one of the greatest challenges – and prospects – of our time. This session will feature leaders and experts outlining the issues facing their cities and their respective strategies in transforming these challenges into opportunities.

    Following a reflection by city leaders and participating agencies of the Annual Meeting’s key takeaways, the GPSC will introduce its work plan for 2018 and prepare with the participants a common outlook on the collaborative agenda for sustainable urban development.  

    GPSC Second Annual Meeting Program Schedule (TBC)


    Day 1Day 2Day 3Day 4
    30th October31st October1st November2nd November
    Morning Sessions

    Parallel Learning Event

    Smart solutions for urban services

    Parallel Learning Event

    Municipal Finance, bonds and PPP

    Opening Session and Mayors Roundtable

    Plenary Session

    Climate Change Dimension of Integrated Planning: How Cities are Manifesting the Paris Agreement

    Site visits and learning
    Exhibition booths
    Networking lunch
    Afternoon Sessions
    Parallel Learning EventParallel Learning EventLaunch of the Urban Sustainability Framework: from Plan to Action

    Closing Plenary Session

    • Keynote presentation & panel discussion on ‘Managing Urbanization’
    • GPSC next steps and closing remarks

    Site visits and learning
    Smart solutions for urban servicesMunicipal Finance, bonds and PPP

    Plenary session

    Financing Action Plan

      Dinner Reception  
  • Building healthy and well-functioning cities and communities that continue to thrive for generations is the goal of the Global Platform for Sustainable Cities (GPSC), a collaboration that unites cities across continents in their endeavors towards achieving sustainable, resilient development.

    What would these cities and communities look like to you? The GPSC, its partner cities, and the Global Environment Facility (GEF) invite you to articulate sustainability through the medium of photography.

    Whether it be elements of your city that represent sustainability, or a moment in time that captures the spirit of inclusive, resilient, and sustainable urban development, we invite you to share your vision with us, through your photographs.

    The winners of the photo competition will each win exciting prizes: a $500 voucher for purchasing photography equipment, as well as a chance to be recognized at an award ceremony and have their photographs featured in the World Bank / GPSC’s online and print materials.

    Here’s how the Sustainable Cities Photo Contest will work:


    The #SustainableCities Photo Contest is organized by the GPSC, its partner cities, and the Global Environment Facility, as part of the upcoming 2nd GPSC Annual Meeting.


    We welcome you to submit photos up until 11:30 pm EDT, Friday, October 15, 2017.


    The Contest is open to individuals who are not active staff of the World Bank Group, including consultants, interns, contractors and their employees. Family members and relatives of World Bank Group staff are eligible to participate. 


    • Submit up to 2 photos with the theme of “sustainable cities.” All photos must be original photos taken within the year of 2017.
    • Each photo must be accompanied by a caption, written in English and containing no more than 2–3 sentences (30 to 40 words). The caption should include the hashtag #SustainableCities, so it could be adapted for use on social media.
    • Entries must include the following information: your name, phone number, and email address.
    • Entries must be original and unpublished. Contestants should be prepared to certify this attestation on request.
    • Contestants must obtain all necessary third-party releases (human subjects in the photographs, including parental/guardians’ approval for minors).
    • Initial entries must be in JPEG format at a resolution of 800x600 pixels, either in portrait or landscape layout, and not more than 5MB in size. Shortlisted photos will need to be re-submitted in higher resolution.
    • Amateur photographers are greatly encouraged.
    • Entries will be judged based on the following criteria: (1) Clarity and relevance of the topic; (2) creativity; and (3) photographic quality of the photograph.
    • All entries must be submitted in English via this e-mail link by 11:30 pm EDT, October 15, 2017, along with a one-page CV, a signed statement of authorship, and with “Photo Competition” and your name in the subject line.
    • Only shortlisted entries will be contacted.
    • Have more than two images to share? We highly encourage you to share your images on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms. Promote the contest and your photos by tagging them with #SustainableCities.


    The top 3 winners will receive exciting gifts, including a $500 voucher for purchasing photography equipment. The winners and the prizes will be announced on World Cities Day, October 31, 2017.  Decisions made by participating jurists will be final.


    By entering, you retain copyright and remain the owner of your images, and may also continue to use them in any manner you choose. You agree that the images you submit may be used in printed publications of the World Bank, its social media platforms, its websites, or in any other media, and may be copied and displayed in any country, provided that you are afforded appropriate attribution as the photographer.

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