During its first week, the Municipal Times has already witnessed a unique event taking place: the adoption of the Pact of the Future for Humanity by mayors and local leaders from around the world. Among its bold, courageous, feminist, ecological, inclusive, and collective commitments, the Pact also reaffirms “the importance of free media, freedom of expression, agency and critical thinking in ensuring well-informed and empowered citizens.”
To make the Pact actionable and as “part of a global initiative committed with hope, that demonstrates that another way is possible,” there is an urgent need for the media to care about cities. There is also a need for cities to care about strengthening the presence of media in dialogues and consultation mechanisms at all levels.
Urban journalism has the potential to impact current conversations about cities and to shape narratives and cultural movements. Rigorous and accessible information on how cities are planned, built, managed, and, most importantly, democratically governed, is key for empowering women and men to understand and evaluate the impact of the decisions made by the national, regional, and local governments that represent them. Providing this information requires trained journalists and dedicated media outlets to relay effective messages that facilitate a positive change in local communities. The Municipal Times strives to play a role in filling this gap, and reporting on the discussions and outcomes of the past week has been the most fitting way to begin.
We would like to thank all of our readers for following the UCLG 7th World Congress and Summit of Local and Regional Leaders via the Municipal Times. On behalf of OnCities2030 and the Urban Journalism Institute, we are grateful for this opportunity to accompany local and regional leaders in achieving this milestone in the Pact for the Future of Humanity. We believe that the Municipal Times is an important tool for supporting policy-makers and leaders in leveraging the knowledge mobilized in global events such as this one.
The adoption of the Pact demonstrates that there is a wealth of actionable ideas, inspirational urban actions, and a strong will among local governments to work hard towards the 2030 Agenda and the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. The Feminist Municipal Movement deserves special recognition, and the Urban Journalism Institute fully supports this and will stand ready to further its work.
We are looking forward to continuing our support and collaboration with local and regional governments and stakeholders. With only eight years to go until 2030, the time for action was yesterday!
The Municipal Times team