September 18, 2020     cib    

COVID-19 is shaking our beliefs and we must think, act, and collaborate beyond the outbreak. The new #CitiesAreListening Experience that we are about to launch, together with Metropolis and UN-Habitat, is inspired from the lessons learnt from our membership during the outbreak and on how local and regional leaders envision the future.

Over the past months UCLG, Metropolis and UN-Habitat have hosted a series of online Live Learning Experiences, adding up to more than 40 hours of idea sharing and featuring case studies from over 130 cities and regions. These online thematic sessions brought together mayors and experts from all over the world to discuss mobility, technology, gender equality, housing, culture, peace, local democracy, public services, accessibility, and much more. The Live Learning Experiences knit together a powerful, robust and collaborative living virtual community sharing experiences on how to manage the crisis as it impacts urban life.

The Cities for Global Health platform, facilitated by Metropolis, has been an integral part of this experience. A collaborative online platform that offers access to knowledge, strategies, and actionable plans implemented by local and regional governments around the globe, it has become a virtual place showcase what cities are doing and be inspired by others regarding specific initiatives or plans to the COVID-19 outbreak other health emergencies. 

Furthermore, UCLG launched its first Massive and Open Online Course (MOOC), based on the 17 LLEs, an interactive tool organized as a self e-learning format, focused on eight specific thematic areas such as housing, mobility, digital technologies, migration, culture, local finance, public services and gender. The course will be integrated with the briefings and materials of the LLE and also include video and graphics.

The LLEs sessions revealed that yes; we are facing an enormous challenge, but that we could be looking at a great opportunity. This is a chance to leave no one behind.

The next step in this process takes the form of the #CitiesAreListeing Experience facilitated by UCLG, Metropolis and UN-Habitat will be the space for dialogue and interaction between different  stakeholders  and the political leadership of the local and regional governments constituency to jointly define our priorities, provide an ongoing dialogue to help shape our international advocacy, and become an exercise that will  build our thinking for the future of humanity and build back after the pandemic.

The #CitiesAreListening Experience will mark the way towards the implementation of the UCLG Decalogue for the COVID-19 aftermath, inspired by the lessons learned from our membership during the outbreak and by how local and regional leaders envision the future.

Solidarity has been a beacon of security throughout the pandemic, and this principle will need to guide us as we navigate the aftermath.  The first edition of the #CitiesAreListening Experience will be an exercise in co-creation between the local and regional governments constituency and the civil society on how to build back better from the pandemic. The experiences will also delve on how to give shape to the living community that has been formed beyond the virtual gatherings that have been and will continue to take place. Stay tuned!

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