The Eleventh Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF11), the premier global conference on sustainable urbanization, will be held June 26-30 in Katowice, Poland. The conference will convene representatives at all levels of government, academics, business and community leaders, urban planners, and civil society representatives to chart the future of cities and examine how urban areas around the world can be better prepared to address future pandemics and a wide range of other shocks.

WRI Ross Center will be leading a variety of side sessions and special events throughout the conference.

General registration for WUF11 (free) is required for all attendees. Follow the directions online or use the mobile app.




Wednesday, June 29

Multi-Level Action for Equitable & Sustainable Cities

This session will demonstrate how national, state and city governments can collaborate to make cities around the world more equitable and sustainable. It will draw on research by WRI and partners in the World Resources Report, Towards a More Equal City, and the Coalition for Urban Transitions' Seizing the Urban Opportunity. The session will also serve as the official announcement of finalists for the 2021-2022 Prize for Cities, showcasing projects that are adapting to uncertainty and disruption in equitable and sustainable ways.

Time: June 29, 16:30-18:00 UTC+2

Location: Multifunction Hall, Room NE 101 + Online

Organizers: WRI, C40, ICLEI, SDI


  • Sarah Colenbrander, Director, Climate and Sustainability Programme, ODI
  • Tadashi Matsumoto, Head of Unit, Sustainable Development and Global Relations, Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD)
  • Rose Molokoane, Vice President, Slum Dwellers International and National Coordinator, South African Federation of the Urban and Rural Poor (FEDUP)
  • Ole Stubdrup, City Diplomacy & Urban Development, Urban and Municipal Development Fund, African Development Bank
  • Aaditya Thackeray, Minister of Tourism & Environment, Government of Maharashtra, India
  • Carolina Urrutia, Secretary for the Environment, City of Bogotá, Colombia
  • Rogier van den Berg, Acting Global Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities

Monday, June 27

Mainstreaming the 2030 Agenda in the National Urban Policy Through Participation: The ODUS in Brazil

The aim of this event is to showcase a concrete example of NUP formulation connected to the 2030 Agenda and fueled by participation. The Brazilian Ministry of Regional Development will present Brazil’s Sustainable Urban Development Goals, followed by a presentation from GIZ on the metadesign-based participatory process and a presentation from WRI Brasil on the systematization process. UN-Habitat will finalize the session showcasing some examples of sub-national initiatives at the state and city level of SDG mainstreaming in public policies.

Time: June 27, 16:00-17:30 UTC+2

Organizers: WRI, UN-Habitat, GIZ, Brazilian Ministry of Regional Development

Location: Multifunction Hall Room 1 + Online


  • Rayne Ferretti, UN-Habitat Brazil
  • Luiza Oliveira, WRI Brasil
  • Sarah Habersack, GIZ
  • Raquel Furtado, Ministry of Regional Development - MDR
  • Thomaz Ramalho, GIZ (Moderator)

Wednesday, June 29

UrbanShift: Accelerating the Shift to Nature-Positive and Climate-Proof Urban Futures

This session will showcase UrbanShift's ongoing efforts to promote climate adaptive urban development in participating cities, highlighting examples of local leadership in building an equitable, nature-positive urban future. We'll hear from UrbanShift's funder, the GEF, and our partners at UNEP, WRI, ICLEI and the CCFLA. We'll also hear from UrbanShift stakeholders in India, Sierra Leone and Costa Rica about their progress towards the SDGs and initiatives to deliver sustainable, resilient urban action at both the local and national level.

Time: June 29, 14:30-16:00 UTC+2

Location: Voices from Cities Room A + Online



  • Rogier van den Berg, Acting Global Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
  • Aloke Barnwal, Senior Climate Change Specialist, Global Environment Facility (GEF)
  • Modesto Alpízar, Mayor, City of Alajuelita, Costa Rica
  • Priscilla Negreiros, Project Manager, Cities Climate Finance Leadership Alliance (CCFLA)
  • Yunus Arikan, Director of Global Advocacy, ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability
  • Sonja Leighton-Kone, Acting Deputy Executive Director, UN Environment Programme (UNEP)


Monday, June 27

How to Communicate a Crisis? Creating Visions for Desirable Urban Futures

This side session will discuss how to build narratives of decarbonization that relate to different audiences. By exploring ways to create visions for desirable urban futures for all, the discussion will seek to inspire climate action and showcase concrete ideas of how socially just decarbonization processes can be triggered and accelerated.

Time: June 27, 14:15-15:00 UTC+2

Location: German Pavilion

Organizers: UNU-EHS, Bonn; WRI; IIED; DIE-GDI


  • Belén Schiaffi, Operational Manager of International Financing, Housing Institute of the City of Buenos Aires
  • Hugo Isaak, General Urban International Coordinator, DGVOSC, Foreign Affairs Ministry of México
  • Dirk Wilutzky, Film Producer and Director
  • Flávia Guerra, Senior Researcher, United Nations University – Institute for Environment and Human Security

Wednesday, June 29

India Forum for Nature-based Solutions

At this event at the India Pavilion, WRI India and the National Institute of Urban Affairs will formally launch the India Forum for Nature-based Solutions. The Forum will offer capacity building, peer-to-peer learning, opportunities for innovative pilot projects, and frameworks and tools to guide solution providers and decisionmakers in designing, implementing and scaling nature-based solutions to meet urban India's adaptation and mitigation needs. 

Time: June 29, 14:00-14:30 UTC+2

Location: India Pavilion

Organizers: WRI India, Climate Centre for Cities (C-Cube) at the National Institute of Urban Affairs


  • Umamaheshwaran Rajasekar, Head, C-Cube and Chair, Urban Resilience Unit, NIUA
  • Hitesh Vaidya, Director, National Institute of Urban Affairs
  • Leo Horn-Phathanothai, Head, WRI UK Office and Director, Strategy and Partnerships, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities

Thursday, June 30

Investing in Walking and Cycling for a Sustainable and Healthy Urban Future

This panel discussion will highlight the importance of shifting towards active mobility for achieving transport decarbonization and more equitable mobility through a special focus on investing and financing active travel infrastructure. Drawing from their diverse experiences and backgrounds, the panel will present an array of policy recommendations and strategies for investing in safe, active transport. Panelists will also discuss the role of re-centering the sustainable mobility discussion around active travel, aligning goals between road safety, climate change, and equity. The discussion shall seek to deepen the understanding of urban sustainability, active transport, and safety as necessarily interlocked and in need of critical investment at all levels. 

Time: June 30, 13:00-14:30 UTC+2

Organizers: WRI, Walk 21, World Bank, European Cyclists’ Federation

Location: Multifunction Hall: SDGs in Action area


  • Rogier van den Berg, Acting Global Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
  • Holger Haubold, Director, Intellectual Property & Data Collection, European Cyclists' Federation
  • Mariana Alegre, Executive Director, Lima Cómo Vamos
  • Janene Tuniz, Associate Urban Mobility Officer, UN-Habitat