Enabling innovation and collaboration between cities, businesses and communities

The social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic is driving transformative change in our cities. How we live, work and play are changing and city governments can influence how this revolution plays out. Cities have the power to maximise the benefits for residents while minimising the impact on the planet, but it requires a proactive, innovative and collaborative approach. 

The NEIF brings together city officials working on economic development, new economic theory, new governance, and the participatory approaches necessary for cities to deliver climate action plans. Through the forum, C40 aims to create a space for experimentation and bold thinking, where cities can explore ways to innovate and address climate risks and emissions beyond the direct control of the city government, such as those associated with goods and services consumed in their city.

NEIF encourages cities to focus on innovation that addresses:
  • Scaling of existing solutions and ideas in new regions or contexts, such as climate budgets, community responses to planning for climate risk, or developing new solutions for widely experienced challenges, like the shift towards a green and just economy.
  • Breakthroughs, by developing inventive solutions to challenges that affect all cities which currently lack widely-supported mitigation actions, such as consumption-based emissions.

Based on C40’s peer-to-peer learning model, the forum hosts webinars that aim to promote and amplify innovation in cities, sharing knowledge and fostering a dialogue between city governments, residents, and businesses, thereby engaging the grassroots organisations and urban activists.

The forum’s webinars are supportive environments for cities to present good practices, lessons learnt and challenges, to trigger conversations on how cities can deliver a just transition towards local, sustainable, and thriving economies that benefit both people and the planet.

NEIF focus areas include:
  1. New economic models and trends
  2. New governance approaches
  3. Progressive metrics for a thriving city
  4. Empowering city changemakers
  5. Emerging issues and city innovation

The disruption caused by the pandemic has created space for a radical rethink of urban living, offering an unprecedented chance to innovate and build healthy, sustainable, and resilient economies and create better lives for everyone. 

City leaders must act now to ensure the recovery from COVID-19 is just and fair, creating good-quality green job opportunities and ensuring that low-carbon lifestyles are not only possible but desirable.

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