By 2050, cities will be home to almost 70% of the world population, leaving no doubt that the achievement or failure of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) will be determined in cities.
In this rapidly urbanizing world, cities are forced to ask tough questions about how they can solve the unprecedented challenges ahead of them and COVID-19 has come to stress these and the urge for a change.
Half of the world’s population today is under the age of 30, with a large majority of them already living or aspiring to live in urban areas. Young people are 40% more likely to move to cities, and what they bring along is an unwavering belief in a great future and readiness to contribute their energy, creativity, ambition, capacity for activism, boundless imagination, and ability to conceive of a better world.
This is the opportunity that the Local Pathways Fellowship leverages.
Every year the Local Pathways Fellowship welcomes a select group of young innovators from cities around the world and provides them with the tools and resources they need to advance problem-solving for sustainable development at the local level.
The Local Pathways 2020 cohort is made up of 140 fellows, under the age of 30, from 100+ different cities. The Local Pathways Fellowship Program supports capacity building in cities by training young urban sustainability leaders by educating them on the process of “localizing” SDG 11 which is to “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”. The fellowship empowers young people by helping them answer the critical questions of “what can I do” and “how”.
Given the strong impact that COVID-19 has had on cities, the 2020 cohort of the Local Pathways Fellows developed a set of rapid response solutions for cities that address the SDG 11 targets.