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Reflecting on Cities Forward: A Year in Review

Celebrating more than a year since the launch of the Cities Forward program, we’re excited to highlight the achievements of participating cities. This collaborative initiative — involving the U.S. Department of State, three regional and country offices of ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, Resilient Cities Catalyst, and The Institute of the Americas — assists 12 Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) cities in tackling critical urban issues regarding sustainability, inclusivity, and resilience through knowledge exchange with their 12 partnered U.S. cities.

Throughout the year, city participants have been involved in peer-to-peer exchange, capacity-building workshops, and diplomatic engagement, all focused on implementing projects with three core themes:

  • Water Resources
  • Nature-Based Solutions & Green Infrastructure
  • Resilient Districts & Livelihoods

Specifically, LAC city participants have:

  • Participated in the Program Kick-off  
  • Developed extensive reviews of existing city plans
  • Conducted a Force Field Analysis exercise to understand the hindering and enabling forces of their proposed priority projects
  • Drafted cooperation charters with their U.S. pair focused on finance identification, technical assistance, and resource exchange
  • Developed project summaries
  • Participated in workshops to start developing project roadmaps
Several Cities Forward participants attended the Enabling Environment Workshop hosted by the City of Mérida, México.

Recently, participants from each of the LAC cities gathered for a series of Enabling Environment Workshops — one hosted by the City of Mérida, Mexico, and one hosted by the City of Fortaleza, Brazil — to refine their project plans, start roadmaps with the assistance of subject matter experts, and acquire effective tools for project implementation. Hear firsthand insights from various city participants about their experiences during the workshop in Mérida, México.

A heartfelt thank you to the Cities Forward participants, the City of Mérida, and the City of Fortaleza for graciously hosting the workshops!

In the upcoming months, the project team will continue to support city participants with finalizing their roadmaps and facilitate additional subject matter expertise in the leadup to The Hemispheric Dialogue on Climate Resilience & Adaptation, preceding the June 2024 ICLEI World Congress.