Global Innovation Summit 2023

The Global Innovation Summit is an annual event that aims to inspire the UTM community to implement innovative approaches in technology, resilience, governance, finance, and society in an integrated, accessible, and holistic manner. It offers an opportunity for UTM cities to unite, network, and meet with a community already committed to a net-zero global transition and galvanize cooperation with the climate finance sector, global practitioners, and private sector representatives.

UTM 1st High-Level Gathering:
Cities ahead of the curve: local solutions driving innovation

The first edition of the UTM High-level Gathering, held in Riyadh (Saudi Arabia) in the framework of the UNFCCC Middle East and North Africa Climate Week (MENACW) offered a unique opportunity for cities to network, collaborate, and connect with a community of national policymakers, international organizations, stakeholders from private sector and academia, with one aim: identify crucial opportunities, collaborations, and partnerships to support UTM cities in the implementation of climate neutral and net-zero pathways enabled by clean energy and systemic innovation across all sectors.

Through a cross-cutting lens, the event zoomed-in on both the challenges, and successful measures and approaches adopted by cities to respond to the needs to build, operate, and maintain sustainable and future-proof urban infrastructures.

Participants both in person and online exchanged on the interconnections between transport and mobility, energy, cooling, and the built environment, focusing on showcasing integrated solutions that foster not only resource efficiency, secure fair, equitable access to all, and leverage innovation and digitalization.


Urban Transition: reality-check 

In the introductory part, global experts started setting a reality-check framework, emphasizing the importance of having a systematic approach when it comes to the improvement of urban resilient infrastructures, connecting innovation on local actions to foster mitigation but also in the implementation of adaptation measures for a climate neutrality and resilient future.

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UTM in Action: resource efficient infrastructures

In the first session, cities representatives and partners shared insights related to resource efficient infrastructures, stating that the main driver for innovation comes from setting climate and sustainability goals and targets based on the perception of what is needed, not on what is possible. 

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UTM in Action: people-centered infrastructures

In the second session, UTM cities addressed the important aspect of managing, setting, establishing and designing people-centered infrastructures to secure a fair and equitable opportunity for citizens to utilize the benefit of this infrastructures. Through the discussion, the representatives highlighted how having people as partners on the development and implementation of urban planning can encourage local governments to make the right choices on which will be the most sustainable choices, the more climate friendly choices that will contribute to the national government climate action strategies.

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UTM in Action: smart & connected infrastructures

in the third session, the participants approached the experiences related to the use of data, digital and multilateral interventions for the development of smart and connected infrastructures. The space allowed to showcase how UTM cities are using data not only to deliver carbon reduction, but also to seek further investment.




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UTM in Action: brokering solutions and connecting innovation leaders & providers

The UTM, in collaboration with the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy Innovate4Cities initiative launched the UTM Research Clusters with the first call to academics, researchers, universities and think tanks to support UTM cities in the delivery of innovative approaches on data and research around their priorities, identifying what has been done already, currently taking place or planned, encouraging all those stakeholders to address priorities together. The call for collaborations sets the first stepping stone on the way to the next edition of the Innovate4Cities Conference, taking place in September 2024 in Montreal, Canada

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