Green Cities Initiative

The Initiative focuses on improving the urban environment, strengthening urban-rural linkages and the resilience of urban systems, services and populations to external shocks. Ensuring access to a healthy environment and healthy diets from sustainable agri-food systems, increasing availability of green spaces through urban and peri-urban forestry, it will also contribute to climate change mitigation and adaptation and sustainable resource management. A "Green Cities Network" will allow cities of all sizes - from megapolis to medium to small - to share experiences, best practices, successes and lessons learned, as well as build city-to-city cooperation opportunities.

In September 2020, FAO launched its Green Cities Initiative aimed at improving the livelihoods and well-being of urban and peri-urban populations in at least 100 cities around the world in the next three years, looking to have 1000 cities join by 2030.

If we rethink our cities, we can reshape our future
Focus areas:

Enabling Environment to support risk and vulnerability assessments, evidence-based and inclusive policies, planning and governance frameworks to foster investment and promote innovation for resilient green spaces and sustainable urban food systems.

Actions for metropolitan cities to enhance their contribution to sustainable growth and wealth at national level with a focus on innovation and green technologies for agri-food systems and green infrastructure, improved food distribution systems and food environments, and better food and water waste management through improved urban planning and rural urban linkages.

Actions for intermediary cities to enhance their role in connecting rural and urban areas to basic facilities and services with a focus on balancing green and healthy environments with productivity, producing local food, connecting producers and local markets, innovative agro-processing food hubs and green jobs, farmers markets and circular economy.

Actions for small cities to enhance nutrition, healthier diets and closer interactions to where food is produced with a focus on governance for functional territories, innovation and green technologies for green infrastructures and food systems, improved agro-processing hubs and urban-rural linkages,  promoting off-farm job opportunities, reducing food loss and better food and water waste management.

FAO’s role

FAO will enhance its work in urban and peri-urban activities by strengthening collaboration with local and national authorities, city councils, mayors, the private sector, academic institutions and international organizations, and engage with urban communities - especially with women and young people.

Did you know?
55 percent of the world’s population resides in urban areas
By 2050 the urban population is expected to rise to 68 percent, mainly in low-income countries
Cities already consume almost 80 percent of the total energy produced in the world and absorb up to 70 percent of the food supply
Cities produce about 70% of global waste
Metropolitan areas are home to about 41% of the world population and contribute to around 60% of global GDP
Smaller cities have higher rates of poverty than larger cities
If well managed, urban forests and trees can reduce air temperature by up to 8 degrees Celsius, reduce the costs of air conditioning by up to 40 percent, reduce stormwater flows and improve air quality by filtering dust and pollutants

Join the conversation
Building a resilient and sustainable future - Join the FAO Green Cities Initiative

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