[15 March 2010] -- The Cities Alliance is pleased to introduce the publication Cities: Steering Towards Sustainability, part of the series A Planet for Life.
Cities are pivotal to sustainability concerns—globalisation, climate change, food security, environmental protection and innovation. Today’s urban actors, both citizens and their leaders are making strategic choices about their cities that will impact generations to come.
A collection of papers by leading international experts and scholars, Cities: Steering Towards Sustainability explores how cities work and identifies contemporary trends, mechanisms and tools that can influence those strategy choices. The authors show that urbanisation is not necessary a problem for sustainable development, but that cities—in all their diversity and complexity—offer solutions as well as challenges.
The publication includes a paper by Cities Alliance Senior Urban Specialist Thierry Paulais titled “Inventing Sustainable Financing for Cities”.  In the paper, M. Paulais discusses the significant impact of the global financial crisis on local government. He suggests that the crisis has called into question the paradigms governing urban financing systems and given a new urgency to rethinking the sector. While it will take time for countries to recover from the crisis, responses may spark the creation of new financial instruments and the restructuring of policies.
Cities: Steering Towards Sustainability will be launched at the fifth World Urban Forum (WUF5) in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil later this month. The launch event, which is co-hosted by Cities Alliance and the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), is scheduled for 23 March from noon to 1:30pm in Room W3-1.
About A Planet for Life
A Planet for Life is a series of annual publications on sustainable development. In each volume, a different theme is discussed and analysed by leading international experts and scholars: Energy and Climate Change in 2007, Biodiversity in 2008, Governance in 2009, Sustainable Cities in 2010.
The series is edited by Pierre Jacquet, Executive Director for Strategy and Chief Economist at the Agence Française de Développement (AFD); Rajendra Pachauri, Director-General of The Energy Research Institute (TERI) in New Delhi, India; and Laurence Tubiana, Director of the Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) in Paris.

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