Chicago recently hosted the Fourth Meeting of the Organization of Economic Development (OECD) Urban Development Roundtable of Mayors and Ministers. Rahm Emanuel, the Mayor of Chicago, Angel Gurría, the OECD Secretary General, Michael Bloomberg, the Mayor of New York City and Chairman of the C40 (Large Cities Climate Leadership Group, a group of 40 cities working to protect the climate), and Shaun Donovan, the U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, jointly presided over the meeting.
The event brought together some eighty participants (mayors, national ministers, former heads of government and heads of NGOs), including Montréal Mayor Gérald Tremblay, who played an active role in the work of the Roundtable, notably as spokesperson of United Cities and Local Governments. During a workshop on the funding of sustainable urban infrastructures, he also presented an innovative project—the Saint-Michel Environmental Complex—which attracted a number of positive comments.
In his closing address at the Metropolitan Club, the Mayor of Chicago, Rahm Emanuel, endorsed Mayor Tremblay’s comments concerning the importance for cities to have the necessary levers to meet the goals of sustainable development.
Central role of cities
The Roundtable demonstrated the central role of cities in promoting sustainable development and achieving concrete results. The participants discussed a number of challenges facing sustainable urban development, including: