National governments today face a triple challenge: recovering successfully from the pandemic, addressing threats posed by climate change and advancing their longer-term development goals. Cities, as economic engines and population hubs, are vital to solving this triple challenge. Urban areas produce 80% of global GDP, and as of 2020, they were home to an estimated 56% of the world’s populace. But COVID-19 exposed our vulnerability to a wide range of shocks, with cities being particularly hard hit. The urban poor, especially, have suffered enormously from the pandemic, climate change and growing inequality.
COVID-19 and the climate crisis pose significant threats for cities, but they also present an opportunity for them to become more resilient and equitable. National governments must seize this urban opportunity to transform cities for shared prosperity for all.