The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in dire social and economic consequences around the globe, with 90% of the impact having occurred in cities, according to UN-Habitat. At the same time, cities, where most of the world’s population live, play a crucial role in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and in the recovery efforts. The UN Secretary General has called for an emphasis on sustainable and inclusive recovery while addressing the immediate health emergency impacts of COVID-19 (GA Resolution 74/270). To respond to this call, the five UN Regional Economic Commissions, UN-Habitat and UNCDF with the support of the UN DESA UNDA Rapid Response funds, initiated a global project “Building urban economic resilience during and after COVID-19" to address various dimensions of economic and financial resilience of cities. The project promotes the principle of “recovering better” by including measures for planning and building resiliency in sixteen cities across the five global regions.
Additionally, many cities globally have developed, or are developing, Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) which provide an assessment of their progress towards achieving the SDGs and are a potentially important tool to support socio-economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. This side event, organized by the seven UN organisations in cooperation with global and regional city networks and cities engaged in the project, will discuss how the local action plans and VLRs can effectively support sustainable and resilient recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, promote sustainable urban development, and eventually inform reporting at the national level to ensure local-national policy coherence.