State Department, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, and Partners Unveil Selected City Participants for Cities Forward Program

Aug 15, 2023 | Economic Competitiveness

Media Contact:
Anne Marie Cleary Rauker, Communications Officer, ICLEI USA, 720.356.0113, am.clearyrauker@iclei.org

State Department, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, and Partners Unveil Selected City
Participants for Cities Forward Program


The U.S. Department of State, ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability, Resilient Cities Catalyst, and
the Institute of the Americas are thrilled to announce the 24 cities selected to participate in the Cities
Forward
program, a flagship urban sustainability initiative. Launched at the Cities Summit of the
Americas, this program is dedicated to assisting Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) and U.S. cities in
creating sustainable, inclusive, and resilient futures through project consultation, co-design, and
knowledge sharing.

With a strong response of 129 applications for just 24 places from cities across the Americas, we are
inspired by the widespread commitment to urban sustainability, resilience, and inclusion. The cities that
were not selected are eligible to participate in the virtual Cities Forward Academy to learn about the
outcomes and best practices from the 12 city pairs.

“We are heartened by the overwhelming level of interest, which serves as a powerful testament to the
significance of our joint efforts to foster equitable and inclusive sustainable urban development,” shared
Angie Fyfe, ICLEI USA Executive Director. “The enthusiasm exhibited by communities across the
Western Hemisphere assures us that our collaborative journey has only just begun.”

Congratulations to the selected cities with their pairings:
● Ambato, Ecuador + Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
● Cali, Colombia + Baltimore, Maryland
● Cartagena, Colombia + Denver, Colorado
● Fortaleza, Brazil + Hawaii County, Hawaii
● Freeport, Bahamas + Coral Springs, Florida
● Guatemala City, Guatemala + Dallas, Texas
● Hermosillo, México + Dubuque, Iowa
● Manaus, Brazil + Stockton, California
● Mérida, México + Austin, Texas
● Montego Bay, Jamaica + Hoboken, New Jersey
● Renca, Chile + Evanston, Illinois
● Rosario, Argentina + Chattanooga, Tennessee

Over the next two years, U.S. and LAC participants will share successes and challenges in their priority
areas of interest, including but not limited to:

● Extreme Heat
● Watershed & Water Resource Management
● Greenhouse Gas Reduction
● Renewable Energy
● Mobility/Transportation Access
● Green Infrastructure & Greenspaces for Underserved Communities
● Circularity & Plastics Pollution Control

After two years, LAC cities will have high-impact, financeable project action plans based on shared
insights gained throughout their collaborations with the U.S. cities, regional consultants and the project
team.
U.S. and LAC cities will also be grouped thematically for efficient collaboration on systemic change
approaches. They will share expertise and efforts in these areas, guided by Subject Matter Experts.
Current thematic groups are as follows, subject to potential changes upon further review and discovery:

  1. Implementation of District or Neighborhood Level Plans
  2. Water Corridor Based Green Infrastructure with Climate Adaptation
  3. Land Based Green Infrastructure, Prioritizing Low-Income Populations & Areas

    The Cities Forward team looks forward to working closely with the selected cities while continuing to
    engage and support all municipalities passionate about building a more sustainable future. For more
    information, visit https://icleiusa.org/cities-forward/.

About ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability
ICLEI-Local Governments for Sustainability (ICLEI) is the first and largest global network of more than
2,500 local and regional governments devoted to solving the world’s most intractable sustainability
challenges. The worldwide network is active in 125+ countries, focused on influencing sustainability
policies and driving local action across five key pathways: low emissions, resilient, equitable, peoplecentered, nature-based, and circular development.

About Resilient Cities Catalyst
Resilient Cities Catalyst is a nonprofit, founded by members of the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC)
leadership team in 2019 to drive catalytic change to help partners solve their most pressing challenges.
Building on the pioneering legacy of 100RC, and in partnership with a community of urban resilience
actors, RCC is helping cities build the capacities and partnerships needed to understand, prioritize and
concretely address their risks and chronic stresses as they pursue their strategic goals or recover from a
crisis.

About Institute of the Americas
The Institute of the Americas (IOA) is a non-partisan, independent nonprofit organization whose mission
is to be a catalyst for promoting economic development and integration, emphasizing the role of the
private sector, as a means to improve the economic and social well-being of the people of the Americas.
Throughout our 40-year history, the IOA has convened events of regional importance in an effort to
support our mission of promoting better understanding and thought-leadership, surrounding critical
issues in energy, climate change and economic development.