COVID-19 has had significant impacts on cities across the globe. The pandemic has forced countries to implement various movement control measures and closure of businesses that have resulted in shrinking economic activities in cities and massive revenue loss of local governments. While the effects of COVID-19 provided some positive environmental outcomes, such as temporary reductions in emissions and improved urban air quality, the opportunity to have a sustainable and green urban recovery is still to be realised. The United Nations is committed to assist cities and countries to “build back better” with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development as a framework for local COVID-19 recovery planning.
While considering the related multi-dimensional effects, this project will place emphasis on strengthening the economic and financial recovery and rebuilding capacities of local governments. The project will promote the “recovering better” principle by including measures for planning and building resilient cities. The approach should clearly be a multi-hazard, multi-sectoral and multi-stakeholders initiative that considers the complexities of urban systems and economies. It should support decarbonization and circularity of the economy and focus on overcoming inequalities and assistance to the most vulnerable groups.
This questionnaire is designed to collect stories from cities about their local economic and financial recovery measures in the face of a crisis. It is intended to capture challenges the cities faced and solutions they have implemented to mitigate economic and financial impacts. Furthermore, this questionnaire is particularly interested in sustainable and inclusive recovery, which is based on the three pillars of the UN socio-economic recovery strategy: Social Cohesion and Community Resilience, Projecting Jobs and Economic Recoveries and Macroeconomic Response and Multilateral Cooperation.
The design of the questionnaire is aligned with the draft conceptual framework on urban economic resilience. Specifically, it investigates the solutions urban governments and other local stakeholders (businesses, civil society, financial institutions) have applied to plan for, reallocate and mobilize resources for crisis mitigation and to ensure an inclusive and sustainable recovery.
Information from this questionnaire will inform directly the Global Compendium of Practices and Virtual Workshops, will help refine the conceptual framework for urban economic resilience, the guiding principles and practices for urban economic and financial recovery and resilience, and will become a resource for other project deliverables. These solutions are thought to be applicable to COVID-19 or any other crisis with significant economic and financial impacts at a local level.