Helping create the City of 2030: UCLG Summit in Mexico City

Date: November 2010
Team: Jeremy Smith
Areas of expertise: Design, Policy

Old-Mexico-City-500pxDevelopment in Mexico City. Photograph: David Gordillo

From 16th to 21st November 2010, Mexico City hosted a huge gathering of city mayors and leaders from across the globe, for the World Summit of Local and Regional Leaders. Organised by United Cities and Local Governments, the Summit discussed the big crises and challenges facing cities and communities, looked ahead to the City of 2030, and debated ideas for a greater input by local governments into global governance – on issues as diverse as climate change, Millennium Development Goals, and “city diplomacy”.  Jeremy Smith was there to assist UCLG – which he had helped set up 7 years ago – in developing the themes and concepts for the Summit programme, and to draft the final outcome documents.

The work began in early 2010, in meetings with the Secretary General and team of UCLG at their offices in Barcelona.  Jeremy then drew up a concept note for the Summit, itemizing and explaining the themes.  These were approved in Spring 2010 by UCLG’s Executive Bureau in Chicago. He also helped with the invitations and Summit programme finalisation, and drew up the first drafts of the two Outcome Documents – a Manifesto for the City of 2030, and the Summit Conclusions.

During the Summit days in Mexico City, Jeremy helped the UCLG team with the final session organization – not so simple when dealing with the Mayors and Heads of Cabinet of some of the world’s largest cities like Guangzhou, Seoul, Johannesburg and Mexico City itself!

The Summit delegates took their chance to propose amendments to the outcome documents with enthusiasm – UCLG works in English, French and Spanish, so with around 200 amendments coming in at the last moment, it was an exciting evening’s teamwork putting it all together into coherent language while the delegates enjoyed the city centre fireworks to mark the 100th anniversary of Mexico’s 1910 revolution!

Jeremy was the principal drafter (including of course the agreed amendments) of  The City of 2030 – a short “manifesto” describing the kind of urban place we would all like to create – and which mayors and local councillors can use their powers to work towards.  It was adopted almost unanimously by the Summit delegates. Ai’s Creative team designed the Manifesto in the three language versions.

We are pleased to note that the Manifesto has a footnote mention in the 2013 UN Report of the High-Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda (co-chaired by the President of Indonesia and Liberia and the Prime minister of the UK)

“A new global partnership to eradicate poverty and transform economies through sustainable development”.

The Report (downloadable here):

“recommends that targets in the post-2015 agenda should be set for 2030”, and the footnote states (p.19):

“Local and regional authorities are already working with a horizon of 2030 (Manifesto for the City of 2030) balancing a long-term vision with the fast changing nature of the world today.”

The Manifesto and the summit Conclusions are available from the UCLG website:

City of 2030 – English

City of 2030 – French

City of 2030 – Spanish

Caption goes hereMayor Topbaş Istanbul, Mayor Delanoë Paris and Mayor Ebrard Casaubón Mexico City at the UCLG Congress
UCLG Mexico City



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