COVID has caused immense suffering in our cities, exacerbating a wider social and economic crisis that has wiped out 400 million full-time jobs in the second quarter of 2020. It has exposed the stark inequality in our cities and our world, and laid bare the need “to improve resilience, strengthen data-driven government, and revive multilateralism.” Climate breakdown and the breach of other planetary boundaries threaten to be even more severe. “We must forge a new normal.”
Our immediate priority is to protect the lives of residents, at the same time committing to “the swiftest and strongest possible rebound…and reaffirm our commitment to the principles of a Global Green New Deal.” Cities are critical to delivering a green and just recovery. We have a responsibility to lead, and are committed to acting right now for a future with jobs and an inclusive economy for all. We must give space back to people and nature, reclaiming our streets and the air we breathe. “15-Minute Cities” are desired, where all residents are able to meet most of their needs within a short walk or bicycle ride from their homes. We seek “to stimulate a rapid and irreversible shift to a zero-carbon economy…the only stimulus should be a green stimulus.”
Note: A strong and passionate statement, using the COVID-19 crisis as a foothold for a green agenda. The Task Force is comprised of mayors from Milan, Rotterdam, Freetown, New Orleans, Melbourne, Seattle, Hong Kong, Lisbon, Montreal, Medellin, and Seoul.