World’s Mayors Gather in NYC For Launch of Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign

Mayors of many of the world’s largest cities have gathered at the Ford Foundation in New York City today for a day-long event marking the launch of the Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign in partnership with OECD and the Ford Foundation.

Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign

Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign (photo – oecd.org)

To operationalize “Inclusive Growth” in cities worldwide, the OECD is launching this campaign to increase awareness of rising inequalities, refocus the debate on concrete solutions, and empower local governments as leaders in the transition towards more inclusive growth.

The creation of a network of mayors to promote Inclusive Growth, to be known as Champion Mayors, is a central component of this campaign. You can see the full list of Champion Mayors on the OECD website’s Inclusive Growth page. The mission of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) is to promote policies that will improve the economic and social well-being of people around the world.

These mayors from cities around the world have been invited to participate in the launch; endorse the “New York Proposal for Inclusive Growth in Cities” and help shape a policy roadmap for inclusive growth in cities; and voice their support for an inclusive growth policy agenda in their cities and countries.

OECD Secretary-General Angel Gurria and Ford Foundation President Darren Walker said in a statement that this issue is also at the core of the work of the OECD and the Ford Foundation. “Today, we are taking this work one step further – to cities and regions, because mayors are among the best placed to champion the policies and practices on the ground that can reduce inequality and improve opportunities for all citizens,” said Gurria and Walker.

The pre-lunch event agenda includes two sessions. Session 1, chaired by Ford Foundation Director for Equitable Development Don Chen, provides the context for the day with a discussion on “What Do We Know About Inclusive Growth in Cities?”

In Session 2, participants will engage in small table discussions to exchange practical information. For instance, one of the topics focuses on policies for inclusive economic development. Questions that will guide this topic discussion include:

– Which local policies work to foster skills of low-income groups and the disadvantaged?  How can cities balance the need to attract new talent and upgrade skills of existing residents and workers?

– What role can city governments play to ensure that all children grow up with access to good quality education? And what do they need from national governments to achieve this?

– How can cities support the development of decent jobs? How can city governments best promote more inclusive growth vis-a-vis the informal economy?

– What barriers exist to inclusive entrepreneurship? How can they be overcome?

Another breakout topic will focus on policies for inclusive housing, transport and sustainable urban environments. A third breakout discussion will be about partnerships and new sources of financing for inclusive growth in cities.

The actual launch of the Inclusive Growth in Cities Campaign takes place after lunch, along with a presentation of the New York Proposal by Angel Gurria, Secretary-General, OECD. This session includes a keynote speech by NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio.

A last session will be a high-level panel in which select mayors will have the opportunity to share a successful initiative to tackle one of the many dimensions of inequality in their city.

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