The 2023 Global Mayors Forum, which opened in Guangzhou on December 8, has been a resounding success, attracting over 800 guests from 65 cities in 37 countries and 9 international organizations. The forum, co-sponsored by the Chinese People’s Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries, the Guangzhou Municipal People’s Government, the World Urban and Urban Organization, and the World Association of Metropolises, has facilitated discussions on urban innovation and sustainable development.
During the opening ceremony, representatives from various cities and international organizations delivered speeches, emphasizing the importance of the Global Forum of Mayors and the Guangzhou International Urban Innovation Award in driving urban innovation and promoting high-quality development. There was a widespread consensus that cities around the world should work together to achieve sustainable development.
Chang Qide, Resident Coordinator of the United Nations Development System in China, stressed the significance of urbanization as it has become an important issue of global concern. He urged city managers from around the world to advocate sustainable urban development and integrate sustainable development goals into the urban development framework.
The theme of “High-Quality Development: Urban Innovation and Cooperation” was a key point of discussion at the forum. Ugor Ibrahim Altai, Chairman of the World Urban and Land Organization, highlighted the importance of urban innovation and the need for cities to communicate their needs and strengthen cooperation. Similarly, Claudia Lopez, president of the World Association of Cities, emphasized the importance of trust and tolerance in promoting urban cooperation.
The forum also focused on local innovation models from cities around the world. Representatives from China, Morocco, Australia, Cape Verde, Mexico, and Greece shared innovative cases from their respective cities. For instance, Yang Jun, mayor of Xianning City, Hubei Province, shared the city’s practical experience in building a park city, which earned Xianning City the prestigious Guangzhou Award this year. Similarly, Francisco Carvalho, mayor of Praia, Cape Verde, described how the “urban vegetable garden” project has improved the environment and provided food sources in the city.
The forum and the Guangzhou Award were praised for their contribution to urban innovation and sustainability. Ugor Ibrahim Altai and Claudia Lopez commended the platforms for providing new impetus for cooperation between cities and allowing city managers to share past experiences, lessons, and innovate together.
The Global Mayors Forum and the Guangzhou Award have been lauded for their commitment to responding to common challenges and promoting sustainable development on a global scale. The Guangzhou International City Innovation Award has even been included in the UN-Habitat Urban Agenda Platform and Urban Best Practices Database, further solidifying its role in driving positive change in urban development.