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Extraordinary Dialogue on Urban Crisis Response and Recovery

Cities are facing multiple crises (climate, health, inequality, conflict, natural disasters) at the same time that increasingly result into acute situations with loss of life and assets, requiring a humanitarian response.

Nigel Fisher


date June 27, 2022 | 14:30 - 16:30
Polish, Spanish, English, French, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Ukrainian + ISL [Polish + English]


The climate emergency, the massive disruption of the COVID-19 pandemic, the global housing crisis, growing inequality, the breakdown of the social contract and the increasing urban nature of conflict, are having devastating impacts on cities, leaving some people and places behind.

This dialogue will reflect on these growing urban crises and the role of mayors and city leaders as both first responders and visionaries who can accelerate not just recovery but transformation towards a better urban future.

Crises are affecting the physical fabric of our cities but, more importantly, displacing people at an increasing scale. The war in Ukraine alone has forced more than 11 million people from their homes in just a few months. By May 2022, Poland was hosting 3.3 million Ukrainian refugees. This requires new thinking on how this will affect the urban landscape, how host communities and the displaced can sustain their lives, and how ultimately people can return home or build new lives elsewhere. This dialogue will zoom in on the essential elements of a holistic response to urban crises.

Guiding Questions for discussions

This Dialogue will address the following questions:

  • What is the future of urban crises and what are the root causes and drivers?
  • How do the multiple crises affecting cities and communities intersect (climate, pandemic, natural/man-made disasters) and what does that mean for the response?
  • How do we manage the massive displacement associated with it?
  • What are the crises opportunities to radically shift policies and practices ?
  • How do we use the crisis response to accelerate towards climate outcomes, more equitable cities that leave no one and no place behind, more healthy cities and more resilient urban environments?   
  • What is the role of Mayors and local governments and what can national governments and the international community do to empower bottom-up recovery that is tailored to each context?
  • How can innovation help accelerate recovery?


Maimunah Mohd Sharif

UN-Habitat | Executive Director

Leilani Farha

The Shift | Director

Clarissa Augustinus

Independent | Expert

Gilles Carbonnier

International Committee of the Red Cross | Vice-President

Denise Yvonne Aki-Sawyerr

Freetown City Council | Mayor of Freetown

Claudia López Hernández

City of Bogota | Mayor

Mary Kaldor

London School of Economics | Professor Emeritus

Raouf Mazou

UNHCR | Assistant High Commissioner for Operations 

Sameh Wahba 

World Bank | Global Director, Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land Global Practice

Emmanuel Jal 

Independent | Artist, Former Child Soldier 

Richard Sennett

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) | Visiting Professor

Andrew Deacon

Global Convenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy | Acting Managing Director

Emilia Sáiz 

United Cities and Local Governments | Secretary-General 

Douglas Ragan


UN-Habitat | Programme Management Officer, Expert in Child and Youth Development

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