ICLEI World CongressICLEI Local Governments for SustainabilityCity of São Paulo
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Tomorrow’s cities today: Megacities driving global change

Stage 4 (Upper level)
20/06/2024, 12:00 - 13:30

Megacities such as São Paulo, Buenos Aires and Seoul are centers of innovation, commerce, and culture, but they also face challenges such as poverty, inequality, and environmental degradation. Through collaboration between governments, companies, communities and individuals, megacities can lead the transition to an equal, greener, and more resilient future.

Megacities must invest in green infrastructure, efficient public transportation, renewable energy, and innovative waste management, but a successful transition to a zero-carbon future demands acknowledging pre-existing inequalities, which, if left unchecked, will only further disadvantage historically marginalized populations. By promoting a just approach to sustainability in their cities, megacities can not only improve the quality of life of their millions of inhabitants, but also inspire and drive change around the world.

Several coalitions and networks of megacities are meeting in São Paulo during the week of the ICLEI World Congress 2024, including the Metropolis Board of Directors meeting, and the Urban 20 meeting. These forums play an important role in uniting megacities around the urban sustainability agenda, facilitating cooperation and knowledge exchange to address the complex challenges associated with rapid urban growth and the quest for a more sustainable and equitable future. All local governments can draw inspiration from examples of megacities that are already implementing inclusive, innovative, and effective solutions. We’ll pick up on the main messages and lessons learned from this week of international forums, pointing out ways in which megacities can contribute to the sustainable development agenda that benefits all.


  • Ana Ciuti, Deputy Secretary of International Relations, City of Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Barbaros Büyüksağnak, Head of Foreign Relations Department, Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, Turkey
  • Decun Zhan, Director General, Foreign Affairs Office, Guangzhou Municipal Government
  • Jordi Vaquer, Secretary General, Metropolis
  • Kun Zhao, Deputy Director General, China Center for Urban Development
  • Maria Auxiliadora Figueiredo, Deputy Secretary for International Relations, City of Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Marina Marçal, Head of Global Advocacy, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
  • Sayoko Matsumoto, Director, Global Environment Policy Office, City of Kyoto, Japan
  • Yuri Giustina, Director of the Department of Adaptation of Cities to Climate Transition and Digital Transformation, Ministry of Cities, Brazil
  • Rodrigo Perpétuo, Executive Secretary, ICLEI South America Secretariat
  • Shu Zhu, Regional Director, ICLEI East Asia Secretariat


Laura Valdés, Head of Policy, Metropolis
Bianca Cantoni, Regional Advocacy Advisor, ICLEI South America Secretariat