Urban October is a UN-organized, jam-packed calendar of opportunities for everyone wanting to be a part of the conversation on city issues and urban sustainability. Cities are responsible for 70 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions – which is why Urban October 2021 will focus on the climate emergency.
Urban October provides a universal space for city makers – be they mayors, civic organizations, businesses, or engaged citizens – to showcase their actions and make plans to be even more ambitious. The sustainable development goals report from 2021 shows that we have our work cut out if we are to fulfil SDG11 “Make cities & human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.
The month kicks off on 4 October with World Habitat day, concentrating on the topic of ‘Accelerating urban action for a carbon-free world’, and comes to a close on 31 October with UN World Cities day. Last year there were 753 events in 74 countries and 230 participating cities in Urban October, and this year is shaping up to give last year a run for its money.
As we face the climate emergency, Urban October offers the perfect opportunity for cities to convene, exchange and learn from each other’s successes and setbacks through webinars, online workshops and public events.
Here are five events that should not be missed this Urban October:
1. Daring Cities 2021
Leading in the climate emergency
4 – 8 October, online
Daring Cities 2021 is a global virtual forum, composed of high-level and visionary speakers, informative workshops and personal networking opportunities. Created by ICLEI and the Federal City of Bonn, Daring Cities empowers courageous urban leaders to disrupt business-as-usual and adopt business-as-possible. It showcases exemplary local action to tackle the climate emergency, including ambitious resilience-building and climate mitigation efforts.
Learn more about Daring Cities 2021.
2. Innovate4Cities 2021 Conference
Science and Innovation partnerships driving inclusive, resilient, and climate-neutral cities
11-15 October, online
Innovate4Cities 2021 is a virtual global and regional event that promises to bring together science and innovation, policy and practice united by a common objective: enabling cities to take accelerated and more ambitious climate action. Across the globe, as societies tackle COVID-19 recovery in earnest, there is a real opportunity to build back better — to build cleaner, more resilient, sustainable societies and a fairer world.I4C’s key theme is the Global Research and Action Agenda. Discussions stemming from this broader theme will address more specific topics, such as post-pandemic recovery, climate justice and green strategies.
Learn more about Innovate4Cities.
3. Cities going circular
The role of local authorities in avoiding, preventing and reducing the consumption of resources
12 October, online
Urban territories generate important flows of materials and energy, e.g. building materials, waste, water and food production. Most of these resources are imported and have significant environmental and social impacts. In this event, you will hear from the city of Maribor, Slovenia, which is leading the Urban Soil 4 Food project (IUA project) with 3 main goals: change material flow, achieve food sovereignty and increase societal awareness. The city of Prato, Italy, will also share its experience on circular re-use of spaces and buildings in cooperation with the Urban Agency for Re-Use.
Learn more about Cities going circular.
Smart routes towards climate-neutral cities
20 – 21 October, hybrid, Germany
How do smart mobility and climate-neutral mobility relate? What do local authorities need to create the smart and climate-neutral cities we need? The CIVITAS Forum, this year in a hybrid format, seeks to address these questions through interactive workshops, speaker sessions and site visits, providing the opportunity to hear from the cities, people and projects driving innovation in smart, inclusive and sustainable mobility.
Learn more about CIVITAS.
5. VII Alta Paulista Environmental Forum
27 – 29 October, online
The Alta Paulista Friends of Nature Association and UNESP – São Paulo State University will host discussions and reflections on environmental sustainability themes in this virtual event. Participants can expect to hear about Sustainable City planning, Watersheds & Water Resource Management, Environmental Health and Heritage, Tourism and Local Development among other subtopics.
Learn more about VII Alta Paulista Environmental Forum.