Cities play a fundamental role in the social and economic recovery after the pandemic, especially those in Latin America and the Caribbean that concentrate 80% of the population. This was one of the central messages of the delegation from CAF -development bank of Latin America- that participated in the XI World Urban Forum, held in Katowice, Poland.
Rethinking cities to better adapt them to the challenges brought about by the pandemic and climate change requires new ideas in addition to those already raised in previous forums. For this reason, CAF brought an agenda of pragmatic, inclusive and innovative examples and solutions to improve the quality of life of the population.
"At CAF we see cities as engines of economic recovery, sustainable and inclusive. We are working on financial innovations so that subnational governments can invest in initiatives that foster greater inclusion. For example, a quality public space allows for a transfer of value to the land and an efficient model for its management and maintenance", explained Ángel Cárdenas, CAF's Manager of Urban Development and Creative Economies.
The Prosperity Fund in Colombia, with resources of up to USD 1.2 billion, is a good example by serving as an umbrella for sub-national entities (municipalities, governors' offices, and metropolitan areas, among others) to access debt resources to leverage their investments with an emphasis on poverty reduction, adaptation to climate change, and to achieve the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.
Data to generate evidence-based policies and efficiency in public investment, beyond its contribution to monitoring and follow-up, is another of the innovations promoted by CAF at the IX World Urban Forum, together with The Governance Lab (The GovLab) of the Tandon School of Engineering at New York University (NYU), the Transformative Urban Mobility Initiative (TUMI) and the New Urban Mobility Alliance (NUMO), by launching the ten priority questions obtained as a result of the initiative "100 Questions in Urban Mobility and Transportation" for public voting.
As part of the strategy to turn CAF into the green bank, the third innovative axis of CAF's participation was the presentation of the biodiversity network, which in less than a year already includes more than 60 cities in 11 countries in Latin America and the Caribbean. This network aims to scale and replicate the efforts promoted by the Government of Colombia, the World Economic Forum and the Alexander von Humboldt Biological Resources Research Institute, where mayors have committed to incorporate biodiversity in urban development projects.
The CAF delegation participated in high-level dialogues, side events and presentation of publications, adding up to 8 spaces in addition to more than 15 bilateral meetings with global, national, local and academic actors in which it reiterated its commitment to be the Green Bank, of economic and social reactivation, and of sub-national governments to improve the well-being of its population - with an emphasis on the most vulnerable - and promote the region's competitiveness.