Where states compete, cities cooperate

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Where states compete, cities cooperate. Therefore, missing out on this chance [at Habitat III] for cooperation and innovation is both a democratic deficit and a wasted opportunity. [It can] only be explained by the inertia of the past and the willingness of national governments to keep hold of their monopoly of decision on the international scale.

States are finding it increasingly difficult to respond to citizens’ needs and address the present’s most challenging issues: the increase in socio-spatial inequalities, the acceleration of both climate change and of displaced populations fleeing war zones, poverty and natural disasters. By contrast, local governments are already working well on these issues, albeit with limited resources and poorly defined powers. Despite the chronic underfunding that local governments suffer from, we have amply demonstrated that we can do more with less.

– Anne Hidalgo, Ada Colau and Manuela Carmena

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