The Urban 20 is the group reuniting the largest cities of the G20 members on October 29-30, right before Argentina is set to host the actual G20 meeting in Buenos Aires.
Of course, cities are the nerve centers where a country’s people, money and power are concentrated. Based on this reality, Paris and Buenos Aires started to build the Urban 20 (U20) a group which -despite its name- brings together the 25 most important cities of the G20 countries, to exchange and learn from each other during summits. In total, more than 150 million people live in these metropolitan areas, generating US $10.5 trillion each year, which roughly translates into a GDP of US $70,000.
The goal is to establish common themes and topics of importance, with a heavily urban perspective, that will then be presented to the national leaders of each country.
The U20 has described its main spheres of action in a joint statement signed by 20 of the cities. It aims at “pursuing the full and rapid implementation of the Paris Agreement, addressing the challenges generated by the gig economy, pursuing gender equality, and narrowing inequality gaps, among others.” Mayors of Paris, Hamburg, Mexico City, Rome, Seoul, Tokyo, New York, Montréal, Jakarta, London, Durban, Sao Paulo, Milan, Sydney, Tshwane, Rio de Janeiro, Madrid, Berlin, Chicago, and of course Buenos Aires have signed the statement.
This could be a great opportunity for Buenos Aires to increase its popularity on the worldwide scene. Despite Argentina’s recent downward spiral in the economic sphere, the city recently entered the top 25 most influential cities in the world, according to ATK Kernay. Out of the 25 cities, 14 are in the U20 summit, including New York, London, Paris, and Tokyo
Horacio Rodríguez Larreta, the Mayor of Buenos Aires, declared: “Urban 20 reflects the commitment and contribution of cities to tackle global challenges. Cities can provide solutions that improve the quality of life of people around the world: Urban 20 seeks to enrich the G20 process with an urban perspective and to explore together policies for a better world.”
He was the one, along with Parisian Mayor Anne Hidalgo, who first launched the idea of the U20 during the One Planet Summit, on December 12, 2017 in Paris.
"Buenos Aires y París lideran un diálogo urbano global a través del #Urban20, un grupo que reúne a los alcaldes de las 25 ciudades principales de los países del #G20 para alimentar el diálogo de esas naciones con una perspectiva urbana", leé a @fstraface ?https://t.co/UGp1OTnIcO pic.twitter.com/RtYEYoUdOQ
— BA Internacional (@BAInternacional) July 5, 2018