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Core Cities UK hosts first G7 U7 Urban Summit

Urban networks from the UK, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the USA, as well as the G7 guest countries of Australia and South Korea met virtually ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall.

They were joined by a number of international city networks and signed a declaration, calling on world leaders to set out a clear vision of the role cities can play in recovery and to draw on the expertise of local leaders and mayors. 

They also called for national leaders to provide appropriate resources and freedoms for cities and support city-to-city dialogue, including places that are still gripped by the Covid-19 pandemic and those that have low vaccination rates.

As well as this, they stressed to national counterparts that cities are key to nations reaching net zero ahead of the COP26 conference due to be held in the Glasgow, a member of Core Cities, in November.

The inaugural G7 U7 Summit is the first of its kind and comes at a time when the future of cities is being debated by policy leaders across the world. 

Commenting, Chair of Core Cities UK and Leader of Newcastle City Council, Councillor Nick Forbes said:

"Core Cities UK is enormously proud to host this first global gathering of city networks of its kind and we hope it will become a regular part of the G7 calendar, adding value to the debates between nation states.

“We come together with a shared belief in the power of urban places to transform economies and society and a mission to make sure national governments recognise the potential of our cities.”

The summit’s aims was to establish local-level dialogue, supporting the aims of the G7 and build on the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals to improve health, economic and environmental resilience, as well as the wellbeing for all citizens.

The declaration recognises that cities across the world have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

It also says they are the places most capable of driving recovery and renewal through greener, more inclusive economic growth, which they argue is vitally important to the wellbeing of surrounding regions, as well as countries.

Continuing, the declaration states that flows of trade and commerce are largely between cities globally and says urban networks can use and strengthen links to support the trade ambitions of their countries.

It adds that the majority of carbon emissions are from cities and that ahead of COP26, cities are strengthening their commitment to a low carbon future, which can only be delivered through local, as well as national interventions.

The declaration concludes:  ‘As globally-facing cities, we all share common values of openness, tolerance and the need to address health inequality and sustainability.

‘By continuing our shared dialogue, we can learn from each other and find new ways to turn these values into action.’

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