By 2050, two out of every three people will be living in urban areas, and cities are the key to meeting the SDGs and Paris Agreement goals. Cities need new financial mechanisms and governance systems that can scale up effectively and quickly over the next 20 years. Yet, cities currently confront a global financial architecture that isn’t fit for purpose, and subnational and urban SDG financing is woefully lagging.

In response to this challenge, in June 2023, the SDSN partnered with the Penn Institute for Urban Research at the University of Pennsylvania to establish a Global Commission for Urban SDG Finance.

The Commission, co-chaired by SDSN President, Jeffrey Sachs; Anne Hidalgo, Mayor of Paris, France; and Eduardo Paes, Mayor of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, is comprised of over 20 mayors, finance and urban experts, and scholars to analyze barriers to urban SDG finance, evaluate existing proposals to improve access to urban finance, and develop new strategies and mechanisms to better align the Global Financial Architecture (GFA) with urban needs.

By Spring 2024, the Commission will produce a number of products, including a final report proposing actionable reforms to the GFA and new mechanisms to secure urban SDG finance; briefs based on deep research and informed by the comparative perspectives of mayors and finance experts that address the impediments to urban SDG finance; and ancillary materials including scenario-based analysis of options for urban SDG finance.

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Jeffrey Sachs

  • President
  • SDSN Leadership

Eugénie L. Birch

  • University of Pennsylvania

Aromar Revi

  • Indian Institute for Human Settlements

Naoko Ishii

  • Advisor, SDSN Japan and Executive Vice President, University of Tokyo
  • University of Tokyo

Guillaume Lafortune

  • Vice President and Head of the Paris Office
  • SDSN Leadership

Alyson Marks

  • Head of Communications and External Relations
  • SDSN Communications

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