Business Roundtable Make It Happen In Cities

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The Business Roundtable will provide an opportunity for business leaders and stakeholders to:

  • Discuss the potential and benefits for cities to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in the light of pressing global issues of climate change and the need to build resilience.
  • Exchange on high-impact initiatives that have the potential to accelerate progress in the SDG implementation, highlighting the critical role of private sector players, innovators, and operators in cities around the world.
  • Network with business leaders and UN-Habitat experts prior to the UN-Habitat Assembly to establish synergies toward future projects.

Financing and Affordability Debate:

  • Exchange on the key challenges in attracting private resources towards financing sustainable urban development.
  • Explore how recovery from crises is an opportunity to accelerate the transformation towards a more resilient urban development.
  • Discuss the role of catalyzing green investments towards enhancing urbanization in cities which include green housing, sustainable transportation, and other related green initiatives.
  • Exchange on affordability in a multi-crises environment to ensure the resilience of cities and communities.

Urban Resilience Showcase:

  • Highlight innovative solutions and best practices for building resilient and sustainable cities in the face of climate change.
  • Exchange on successful climate action initiatives, including nature-based solutions, green infrastructure, and climate-smart urban planning approaches that can enhance cities’ ability to adapt to climate risks and build resilience.
  • Discuss urban infrastructure and place-making for creating inclusive and livable cities, delving into fostering social cohesion, economic development, and environmental sustainability in urban areas.


The Business Leaders Roundtable is an initiative of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) to bring together top business and industry leaders from around the world to discuss ways to achieve more resilient and sustainable cities (SDG 11). In particular, it seeks to explore how the private sector can be more effective in efforts of bridging the urban infrastructure/financing gap, and scale up resilience efforts to prepare cities and communities to face current and upcoming urban challenges.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a global plan of action to end poverty, reduce inequalities, and protect the planet. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an ambitious call to action on the principle of “leaving no one behind”. In a world of global crises, such as the pandemic, climate emergency, conflict, and economic recession, countries need to work to make significant progress towards the achievement of the SDGs.

What is needed is thus a new approach to multilateralism that is both inclusive and effective, meaning that countries have a role to play in achieving the SDGs, regardless of their size or wealth. It requires a shift from traditional processes of international cooperation, which were often premised on the interests of the most powerful states. Instead, it should build a broader alliance and include the private sector, civil society, member states, philanthropists, and other stakeholders. Only by doing so can we ensure that the most vulnerable countries are not further marginalized and left behind.

The roundtable will bring together private sector leaders, philanthropists, development banks, investors, member states, and UN entities, with the goal of sharing concrete solutions to closing the financing gap and scale-up urban resilience solutions by drawing on the unique perspectives and expertise of a diverse audience. It will explore ways to leverage private sector expertise and resources to support the implementation of UN-Habitat’s New Urban Agenda and the Sustainable Development Goals.