William Cobbett, director of Cities Alliance, tells Devex how new and innovative responses to urban challenges are vital for the future.

By 2050, 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities. To accommodate such a huge shift in urban life will require a transformation in how we interact with our fellow citizens at a city level.

In this Devex video William Cobbett, director of Cities Alliance, discusses how new and innovative responses to urban challenges are vital for the future.

To map out a strategy for sustainable urban development — dubbed the New Urban Agenda — United Nations member states are building on last year’s Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris climate change agreement.

One of the most important questions that should be asked and answered, said Cobbett, is about the role of cities in contributing constructive solutions to the global agenda.

“The best starting point internationally would be to improve both the quality and the sharing of information and data,” he said, in order to plan a city of the future.

Watch the video above for more on the importance of usable data to be able to make equitable decisions, and how creating a constitutional, legal and policy framework could empower city and subnational governments to share responsibility.

What do you want to see on the #NewUrbanAgenda? Over the next six months Habitat for Humanity, Cities Alliance and Devex will join forces to explore the future of our increasingly urbanized world in the run up to Habitat III in October. Spread the word, share your views below or tag @devex and #NewUrbanAgenda.

About the author

  • Helen Morgan

    Helen Morgan is an Associate Editor at Devex. She has a background in human rights, radio and journalism, and has written for a variety of international publications while living and working in Buenos Aires, New York and Shanghai. She is now based in Barcelona and supports editorial content on campaigns and media partnerships at Devex. She is currently studying a master's degree in contemporary migration.

Join the Discussion