The ICLEI World Congress 2021 – 2022 | Sustainability. Together.

The Malmö Summit will bring 100+ cities, towns and regions together to showcase leadership in sustainability, adaptation and equity.

  • 27 April 2022

Bonn, Germany (25 April 2022) – The ICLEI World Congress 2021 – 2022, hosted by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability and the City of Malmö, Sweden, will conclude on 11-13 May with the Malmö Summit – an international three-day congress for local and regional governments, urban practitioners, researchers and stakeholders to exchange with and inspire one another on the best practices in local sustainable development, and learn firsthand from the City of Malmö’s wealth of sustainability initiatives The Malmö Summit will explore and highlight critical topics in sustainable urban development, reflect on the outcomes of the COP26, and set new goals for cities, towns and regions in response to the climate emergency.

“The Malmö Summit will bring to life the motto of Sustainability. Together,” said Frank Cownie Mayor, City of Des Moines, US, President of ICLEI’s Global Executive Committee. “We’re pleased to partner with the City of Malmö, Sweden for this World Congress because Malmö is a leading example of what cities are doing right now to co-create innovative sustainable development with equity at the forefront”.

The City of Malmö, a once successful industrial city that fell on hard times has since reinvented itself as a dynamic knowledge centre built on cultural diversity, youth and sustainable development.  “The City of Malmö is honored to host the ICLEI World Congress 2021-2022, “ said Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor, City of Malmö. This is an opportunity for us to showcase our environmental and socially integrated approach to sustainability and to highlight real-world examples locally, in order to provide other cities with actionable information. At the Malmö Summit we look forward to also learning from other cities and regions through the sharing of best-practices. Building on this, the Malmö Commitment will be introduced at the Congress, firmly placing local and regional governments at the forefront of the global response to today’s challenges.”

Through a pre-event researchers’ symposium, high-level plenaries, interactive mobile workshops, virtual sessions, and networking opportunities, the Malmö Summit is an action-oriented event that will ensure a space for cities, towns and regions to experience the power of working together toward their sustainability goals. Local and regional governments and their partners from around the world are invited to join the Malmö Summit in showcasing, celebrating and exchanging on the vision of a sustainable urban future.  Registration information is available here.


The ICLEI World Congress 2021 – 2022: The Malmö Summit will have three days of core programming for participants, featuring strategic high-level dialogues building on themes explored in 2021, as well as exciting technical visits, in-depth workshops and multiple networking opportunities.

The rich and engaging in-person and online sessions will be divided into three overarching categories:

  • Strategies towards a climate neutral future: These sessions will explore the efforts needed in our cities, towns and regions in order to move towards a climate-neutral future, specifically looking at technological approaches and fostering behavior change within the community.
  • Strategies towards resilient and healthy communities in harmony with nature: These sessions will investigate cutting-edge discussions in building resilience capacity in our cities, towns, regions and communities, making them healthy homes both for people as well as for nature.
  • Strategies towards equitable and inclusive communities: These sessions will look at equitable, inclusive and whole-of-society approaches to local sustainable development, participatory approaches and stakeholder engagement, and prioritizing the interlink between human health and sustainable local development.

In order for cities, towns and regions to achieve these objectives, key enablers for action need to be leveraged. The Malmö Summit will give special attention to two of those enablers: Sustainable finance and Innovation.

Sustainable Finance: These sessions will focus on bringing all actors along the investment chain behind the SDGs to respond to the crisis in the short-term and rebuild over the long-term for a more resilient and sustainable future.

Innovation: These sessions will share new approaches for addressing urban sustainability; including highlighting areas the ICLEI Network are already applying. The sessions under this area will show that innovation is a process of trial, failure and success, looking at innovation through two lenses; innovation in sectors and Innovation in policy and governance approaches.


The Research Symposium, the 6th in ICLEI’s 32-year history will deepen the dialogue among leading urban sustainability researchers, innovators, local and regional practitioners, political leaders, and scientists, at the interface of research-policy-practice to co-create actionable knowledge for science-informed decision making to support subnational governments in their transition toward further sustainability.

During the Research Symposium, as the highlighted Research & Innovation component of the ICLEI World Congress 2021-2022, two important reports and key outcomes from the Innovate4Cities 2021 Conference, will be launched and discussed, as new agendas for cities and climate change science.

First, an update to the Global Research Action Agenda on Cities and Climate Change Science will be released as Findings from Innovate4Cities 2021 and Update to the Global Research and Action Agenda.

Second, an updated City Research and Innovation Agenda (Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy, GCoM), a response for city practice and city leadership to the updated GRAA agenda, will also be launched.

The Research Symposium will also include:

  • The Knowledge Hall: A space for local governments and researchers to showcase their projects
  • Research Market Place: A space to pitch researchers’ project ideas, as well as explore partnerships and coalitions for future research and innovation collaboration.

This event, designed and delivered under ICLEI’s Global Research Strategy is co-organized by the City of Malmö, the World Maritime University (WMU) – Sasakawa Global Ocean Institute (GOI, and ICLEI.

The Research Symposium will take place on 10 May at the World Maritime University (WMU).  For more information, visit


The Malmö Commitment positions local and regional governments at the centre of the global response to today’s challenges, by encouraging sustainable approaches, innovation, adaptability, participation, and inclusiveness in policy-making to tackle the current climate emergency and by embedding social equity at the core of their local sustainable development. It gathers local and regional governments that commit to this urban transformation following a four-step process: identify the challenges; monitor social equity indicators; report the progress and enhance the effort taken through neighbouring communities.

During day two of the Malmö Summit, initial signees will be announced and other cities or regions will be invited to join the commitment.


ICLEI and the City of Malmö would like to thank the following organizations for their support and contribution to the ICLEI World Congress 2021-22:

Premium Event Sponsors:

Media Partners:

The ICLEI World Congress 2021-2022: The Malmö Summit is supported by official media partners including All Things Urban, CitiesToday, EKOİQ, İKLİM HABER (Climate News), Impakter, Shareable, STIR World, TheMayor.EU, URBANET, urbanNext, World Architecture Community, and WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.



About the ICLEI World Congress

Every three years, ICLEI hosts the ICLEI World Congress to showcase how cities, towns and regions across our network are advancing sustainable urban development worldwide. The ICLEI World Congress connects local and regional governments with their peers and strategic partners, and provides a platform for discussions that will inform and enhance their work.

From the founding World Congress in New York City, USA in 1990, the ICLEI World Congress has always taken a deep and critical look at the most relevant and pressing issues in urban sustainability. The ICLEI World Congress is the core event organized by ICLEI. Each event is a chance for the network and our partners to come together and outline the future of sustainability in urban areas worldwide.

For more information about the ICLEI World Congress, please visit

Full event program is available here: