Cities and the UN

What place do cities have in the United Nations?

The role that cities play in a number of challenges facing the world, such as poverty, resilience, economy and sustainability, both as the source of global problems and a possible key part of their solutions, has been increasingly acknowledged by the United Nations,  not least with a New Urban Agenda and a specific cities-focused Sustainable Development Goal.

Yet what role do cities and city leaders have within a multilateral system devised by and mainly for states? How are they engaged in the workings of UN and how are they recognised? What shape is ‘global urban governance’ taking?

This project looks at the ‘place’ of cities in the United Nations system, analysing their recognition in formal frameworks, the types of city-UN engagements and the possibilities for this ‘glocal’ connection.

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Acuto, M., Kosovac, A., Pejic, D., & Jones, T. L. (2021). “The city as actor in UN frameworks: Formalizing ‘urban agency’ in the international system?” Territory, Politics, Governance, 1–18.

Kosovac, A., Acuto, M. & Jones, T. (2020). Acknowledging Urbanization: A Survey of the Role of Cities in UN FrameworksGlobal Policy.

Acuto, M. (2018). Engaging with global urban governance. In: Harrison, J., & Hoyler, M. (Eds.). Doing Global Urban Research. Sage: 96-109.