U20 Mayors Summit - Side event on Living Together

September 24, 2020

The Organized the side event "Living Together: Social Cohesion and Urban Inclusiveness in the Time of a Pandemic" in margins of the U20 Mayors Summit.

On 30 September, Montréal - through the International Observatory of Mayors on Living Together, Izmir and Metropolis organized the side event "Living Together: Social Cohesion and Urban Inclusiveness in the Time of a Pandemic", in the margins of the U20 Mayors Summit (in virtual format).

This side event aimed to better understand how cities are dealing with issues related to social cohesion and inclusion at the local level, and particularly in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Following a first conference on the concept and examples of city policies on Living Together, by Prof. Bob White, Director of the Laboratory for Research on Intercultural Relations LABRRI/Université de Montréal, a city panel gathered:

The event was chaired by Esteban Benavides, Coordinator of the Observatory, who gave an international oveview on the topic of Living Together, as a local and global challenge, in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. The session was moderated by Kathryn Travers, international consultant and expert on gender mainstreaming. At the conclusion, Octavi de la Varga, Secretary General of Metropolis gave some final remarks by adding the metropolitan governance perspective. 

By the way, this event was the opportunity to announce that the City of Izmir will hold the 3rd Mayors Summit on Living Together in 2021.

The next day, a thematic session on "Affordable housing delivery and urban social safety nets" was a new opportunity to discuss about social cohesion. This session presented the results of the Task Force "Inclusive and prosperous communities", where Montréal - and the Observatory - contributed through the production of the white paper "Urban inclusiveness, safety nets and social compacts in the time of a pandemic" (to know more).

At the end of the Summit, a Communiqué from the Urban 20 (U20) including 27 recommandations was issued in order to inform the G20 Leaders about the cities priorities.

 About the U20

The U20 is a city diplomacy initiative that brings together cities from G20 member states and observer cities from non-G20 states to discuss and form a common position on issues from climate action, to social inclusion and integration, to sustainable economic growth.

The U20 2020 Summit is hosted by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and Chaired by the Royal Commission for Riyadh City (watch highlights from the U20 2020 Mayors Summit).