Smart Transport

Global mayors launch COVID-19 recovery task force

Mayors around the world are collaborating on a recovery plan from the COVID-19 pandemic as part of a newly launched task force.

C40 Cities, group of 96 cities around the world that represents one twelfth of the world's population, has put together the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force to discuss how to use huge public investment in the recovery to create a "new normal" for city economies, based on eliminating pollution and poverty, improving public health and increasing resilience to shocks.

The mayoral task force will be chaired by Giuseppe Sala, Mayor of Milan.

Milan is the capital of the Lombardy region of Italy that has seen some of the worst impacts of COVID-19.

The task force will be made up of representatives of mayors from every region within the C40 network, many of whom have specialist expertise - including Mayor of Freetown Yvonne Aki Sawyerr, who was director of planning at the National Ebola Response Centre of Sierra Leone during the 2014-15 Ebola epidemic. 

Giuseppe Sala, mayor of Milan and C40 vice-chair, said: “Our immediate priority is to protect the health of our residents and overcome the COVID-19 pandemic.

“As we navigate the devastating daily effects of this unprecedented crisis, however, we must also look towards how we will keep our people safe in the future.”

Sala said the structure of the recovery efforts will define cities for decades to come.

Mark Watts, C40 executive director, said that in what he believes is “in stark contrast to inadequate cooperation between national governments”, mayors from cities worldwide are uniting to respond to the immediate COVID-19 emergency. 

Through a series of thought-leadership papers, webinars and briefings from experts worldwide, the COVID-19 Recovery Task Force will provide mayors with data, best practices and analysis for how to achieve an economic recovery that gets people quickly back to work, puts resources into the hands of those who need it most, and accelerates action to overcome the climate crisis.

The task force will collaborate with a global partnership of economists, businesses, cities, labour and youth movements to deliver a unified COVID-19 recovery plan, to be published at a later date.

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