Globally, over 50% of the population lives in urban areas today. Listen to leaders from the public and private sectors, economists, policymakers, and activists as they look for solutions to help countries achieve their development goals. 

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Past Events

Transforming Transportation 2024: Mobilizing Finance for Climate Action

Join us to discuss how we can mobilize finance for climate action, attract more investment for sustainable mobility, and harness the full development potential of transport.

Thriving: Making Cities Climate-Ready

New analysis from the World Bank examines the two-way relationship between cities and climate change, concluding that cities also hold the key to solving the climate crisis. With data from more than 10,000 cities, the report offers insight into how to help cities become greener, more resilient, and more inclusive – in other words, on how to help their cities thrive – in a changing climate. This session engaged prominent government officials including mayors and ministers as well as civil society to discuss the findings and recommendations from the report.

Thriving – Making Cities Green, Resilient and Inclusive in a Changing Climate

New analysis from the World Bank based on 10,000 cities across the globe provides a compass for policymakers at both the national and local levels on policy options for making cities greener, more resilient, and more inclusive in a changing climate. This session will engage prominent government officials including mayors and ministers as well as civil society to discuss the findings and recommendations from the report.

Accelerating Support to City Climate Action

Join IFC and World Bank for the launch of the APEX Green Cities Program, an innovative new approach that harnesses the insights from advanced green practices around the world to show what these practices mean for your city, based on your local context. This launch event will include an overview of the APEX (Advanced Practices for Environmental Excellence) initiative and testimonials from our partner cities Ekurhuleni, South Africa and Alexandria, Egypt. 

The Gap Fund: Helping Cities Early on to Turn Climate Plans and Pipelines Into Action

Leveraging climate finance at the scale and speed needed to address the climate crisis is a key global commitment. Within this, cities and urban systems will be critical for achieving a global green and inclusive transition. The event will present the City Climate Finance Gap Fund, a multilateral partnership involving the World Bank, the European Investment Bank, and other partners.

Moving Cities to a Cleaner Future

This event highlights the various roles that cities can play in addressing climate change: as regulators, project sponsors, fundraisers of capital, overseers of multi-connected systems, and as partners with the private sector, leveraging their relationship for green standards, innovation, technical expertise, and green finance.

Cities and Equity – Righting the Wronged

COVID-19 has laid bare the long-standing inequities faced by people around the world – especially those with limited access to health care, infrastructure and other essential services. In cities, home to over half of the world’s population, such chasms have been deepened by the pandemic. Although urbanization has been accompanied by lower poverty, job creation and growth, distribution of such urban gains has been uneven, often marked by striking spatial, social and economic inequalities within cities. In reimagining the post-COVID-19 future, policy makers, international agencies, and other non-state actors are all concerned with getting it right. It has become evident that without addressing inequities that have left many behind, it is impossible to build inclusive cities that are livable and prosperous for all. How can we introduce new ways of (re)building cities from an equity perspective, prioritize the poor and vulnerable in decision-making, and enhance overall the resilience of cities? This World Bank Live session engages with a rich ...

Road Safety in South Asia – Rethinking Urban Mobility amid COVID-19

COVID-19 has upended mobility in South Asian cities, disrupting public transport and laying bare poor and unsafe conditions, especially for pedestrians and cyclists. How can South Asia make its urban mobility sustainable and safer for all, as we move towards a resilient recovery? Watch our live panel and join the conversation with #RoadSafety. Register to receive updates on the virtual event.

Cities at Risk - How Can we Manage the Impact of the Crisis on Urban Areas?

The coronavirus pandemic is seriously limiting social interactions around the globe. Will such measures defeat the virus in dense urban areas? We asked Sameh Wahba, the World Bank's Global Director for Urban, Disaster Risk Management, Resilience and Land.

Youth Summit 2019: Smarter Cities for a Resilient Future

Agenda available here Cities are places of opportunity: 80% of global GDP is created in cities, helping hundreds of millions lift themselves out of extreme poverty. Over recent decades, cities have become a magnet for talent, investment, and for youth seeking a prosperous future.  The promise offered by cities is driving unprecedented population growth, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Globally, 4 billion people - more than half the global population - live in cities. By 2030, two-thirds of the world's population will live in cities, and a third of the world’s population will be housed in cities with 1 million or more inhabitants.  Rapid urbanization at this scale presents unparalleled challenges. The increasing population density, shocks from environmental pressures, growing infrastructure demands, and the increased expectations from residents and visitors to deliver services that improve their quality of life will all need to be met – at a sustainable cost. To meet the needs of a rapidly growing, younger, digitally savvy population, we ...

6th Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Conference

Agenda: Opening Session: 9:00-10:15 am ET”People, Markets and Cities” Keynote Session: 1:00-2:15 pm ETKeynote address: “Moving to Opportunity in the Developing World” Debate: “Regional Perspectives on Migration and Location Issues” Cities are engines of growth, which create jobs, agglomerate economics and diffuse knowledge. By the middle of the century, two-thirds of the population will live in cities. 90 percent of the urban growth will be in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Cities in developing countries lack efficient structure and have poor spatial connectivity, which prevents workers from accessing opportunities and marginalizes vulnerable and low-income groups. A large percentage of workers are unskilled, underemployed and poor. What is the role for urban and national governments to create opportunities for all, and facilitate human capital accumulation, improve spatial connectivity, and address the socio-economic segregation? The 6th Urbanization and Poverty Reduction Conference will bring together academics and development practitioners to discuss effective land, housing, transport and local labor market policies, and their implications for ...

Getting Infrastructure Right: A Call to Action

The infrastructure service gap is huge: 940 million people live without electricity, 663 million lack improved sources of drinking water, 2.4 billion lack improved sanitation facilities, 1 billion live more than 2 kilometers from an all-season road. Yet, the main impediment to investment is not lack of financing, but of good governance. Analysis shows that substantial benefits can be realized by better governance of public investment throughout its life-cycle—and that the quality of public investment management is linked to growth outcomes.  The Regional Roundtables on Infrastructure Governance  have successfully brought together governments, the private sector, and practitioners to create better approaches to tackle this issue head-on. The program moves to Asia on May 23-24 with an event in Seoul organized by the World Bank, KIND, and Korea Eximbank, in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank, Global Infrastructure Hub,  KDI School, Open Contracting Partnership, and OECD. Follow the conversation at #infragovernance.

Inclusive Urbanization amid Global Change

Cities in the developing world are growing rapidly, both in number and size. While urbanization is known to spur economic growth, the migration of people from rural to urban areas can be associated with rising inequalities – both across urban and rural areas and within cities, especially in developing countries. Within this context, coupled with fiscal constraints, evolving global trade relations, extreme climate events, and technology disruption trends, national policymakers and city leaders are grappling with challenges in the delivery and financing of services, such as transport, water, waste management, and housing. How can countries harness the power of urbanization and cities for inclusive economic growth to improve the quality of life for all residents? This event will bring together leading policymakers, practitioners, and private sector thought leaders for a moderated discussion of how to make the urbanization process more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable both across and within cities in a changing global environment. To Learn More: Publication: September 2018 Indonesia Economic ...

Spring Meetings 2018 Global Voices: Interview with Elizabeth Yee

This is a Facebook Live interview. Watch the replay! As part of our Spring Meetings 2018 Interview Series, we will be talking with Elizabeth Yee, Vice President of City Solutions, 100 Resilient Cities. She will be joined by Sameh Wahba, Director of the Social, Urban, Rural and Resilience Global Practice, World Bank Group.

Spring Meetings 2018 Global Voices: Interview with William L. Swing

This is a Facebook Live interview. Watch the Replay! As part of our Spring Meetings 2018 Interview Series, we will be talking with William L. Swing, Director General of the International Organization for Migration, to discuss how to encourage actions on migration at the global level and urban displacement. 

Cities are Where the Future is Being Built

The global productivity slowdown and stagnating progress in poverty reduction – alongside risks from climate change and rapid aging in parts of the world – are making the path toward poverty reduction and shared prosperity less deterministic. Countries need new sources of growth to anchor development in a changing global landscape. Cities and sub-national economic regions can offer just such a potent solution. Why? As rising uncertainties make it impossible to predict the specific sectoral opportunities for development, investments chosen need to be generic, supporting many specific activities. Metropolitan regions provide just such generic capital – virtually whatever niches prove to be viable, they will take place in cities and urban regions, and their success will require that they work efficiently, creating jobs as well as delivering infrastructure and services. In fact, metropolitan regions will provide both the lived environment and the work environment for most people globally by 2030. Join thought leaders, national and city policymakers, and civil society leaders in a live ...

Infrastructure: Latin America and the Caribbean’s New Growth Engine

With the lower commodity prices and uncertain global scenario, Latin America and the Caribbean is looking for alternatives to boost economic growth to continue on its path of reducing poverty and inequality. There is increasing consensus in the region that closing the infrastructure gap will be essential to set the stage for economic recovery. This event will discuss challenges such as the financing, planning, implementation and regional coordination of effective infrastructure programs, and strengthen the momentum for reform in the area.

7th Global Housing Finance Conference

Today, 3.5 billion people — half of humanity — live in cities, including 828 million people who live in slums. By 2030 an estimated 60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas, with 95% of urban expansion predicted to take place in developing countries. What role will housing finance play in harnessing the investment necessary to build the cities and affordable housing needed by 2030 and beyond? Sustainable Development Goal #11 is to “ensure access for all people to adequate, safe, and affordable housing.” Is this goal realistic and achievable? How can we make it happen? This year’s Global Housing Finance Conference explores ideas on how to get there by 2030. World Bank Live will stream the welcoming remarks by Sri Mulyani Indrawati, keynote address by Aisa Kacyira, and first session of this two-day conference, which focuses on “Goal 2030 - Adequate, Safe and Affordable Housing” and what needs to happen to make it a reality.

What Makes a Sustainable City?

A discussion with government leaders about how to support cities in becoming more socially, environmentally, and fiscally sustainable. With most of the global population and capital goods nowconcentrated in urban areas, cities are key to social development and economic prosperity. Urbanization, globalization, and climate change are interacting in a way that is unprecedented, and urban service delivery systems are becoming increasingly interlinked. This session explores the challenges and innovative approaches across multiple dimensions of sustainability at the city level – economic, environmental and social – and how they contribute to shared prosperity. The session will illustrate opportunities offered by cities in terms of access to jobs, services, overall economic gains, and overall positive impacts on the environment. It will also explore the significant challenges and trade-offs that policy makers face in ensuring that these gains are socially inclusive, resilient, and that they are achieved in an environmentally sustainable manner.

State of the Africa Region: Facing the Challenges, Continuing to Rise

This year’s State of the Africa Region seminar will focus on the challenges and opportunities facing Africa in a changing world. Hear from the World Bank’s Chief Economist for Africa as he presents the implications of lower oil and other commodity prices for a region that exports a large number of commodities. Join the discussion on this and other long term challenges facing Africa: the demographic transition; the urbanization process; and the changing nature of conflict and fragility.

Harnessing Urbanization for Growth and Shared Prosperity in Africa

Africa has grown more rapidly than any other region in the world with an additional 450 million people expected to move to Africa’s cities between 2010 and 2040. With the potential to grow, attract investments, be innovative and create more jobs, how can cities turn this rapid urbanization into a win win? Join a panel of global experts, including world renowned Economist Paul Collier and representatives from some of Africa’s busiest cities, as they discuss how to build infrastructure, boost employment and improve the quality of life, housing, education and health services for the growing numbers of Africa’s city dwellers.

The State of the Africa Region

This event will focus on the links between economic growth, structural transformation and poverty reduction in Africa. Rapid growth in Africa since 1995 has largely been driven by the natural resources and services sectors, whereas the share of agriculture and manufacturing in GDP have fallen. What does this imply for the “quality” of Africa's growth? In particular, what can the data tell us about how growth in different sectors of the economy translates into poverty reduction? Are there implications for growth-promoting policies?

Cities and Citizens: Game Changers for Inclusive Development

How can a city become a place where people are empowered, opportunities exist for all, and policies promote the well-being of its citizens? Can new technologies make governments more accountable to citizens? In this event, development leaders will discuss the transformative power of inclusive institutions and citizen engagement for enhancing accountability and improving public services for the poor. The panel will address the relationship between key elements of inclusiveness – institutions, governance, and citizen engagement – against the backdrop of rapid urbanization and social change, growing inequality, and rising crime and violence.

Africa: Sharing Economic Growth Broadly: New Challenges for the Continent

This event will focus on avenues African policymakers can pursue to increase the benefits of economic growth for broad segments of their societies. Challenges to be discussed include the share of manufacturing in GDP, lower rates of employment creation, rapid urbanization of the continent, and difficulties in generating new sources of growth The event is co-sponsored by the Growth Dialogue and the World Bank Africa Region and will feature high-level policymakers engaging in a rich exchange of ideas and concrete policy options.

Latin America: Will Slower Growth Increase Inequality?

Latin America: Will Slower Growth Increase Inequality?

About World Bank Live

Since 2011, the World Bank Live platform has been a hub for high-level conversations on international development. Hosting over 650 events in English, with more than 200 also available in French, Spanish, and/or Arabic, it serves as a gateway to both upcoming and past events. The platform aims to help spark innovative ideas and translate them into actionable solutions, with a focus on ending poverty and boosting prosperity on a livable planet. Each event delves into critical economic issues aligned with the UN's Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), with topics ranging from healthcare and pandemic preparedness to climate action and building sustainable communities. Read more >