The power of connecting cities
The World Alliance of Cities Against Poverty (WACAP) is committed to building a better and brighter future for the more than half of humanity that currently live in or are migrating to the world’s diverse and sprawling urban habitats. WACAP is focused on helping cities create more sound and livable environments – with greater opportunities and quality of life for all. It does this by connecting local authorities and promoting city-to-city cooperation in order to identify and share innovative solutions for complex development challenges, and to better provide for the most basic needs of their populations.
WACAP’s mission has taken on a renewed significance as municipal leaders are seeking proven approaches to help meet their post-2015 agendas, and as cities in all parts of the globe are attracting growing influxes of people drawn by the promise of more productive and secure lives – adding pressure to already limited social services, infrastructure and financial and natural resources.
Since its inception in 1996, the Alliance’s global network has grown to include more than 900 cities who are brought together by the common belief that they all stand to benefit from each others’ past work and experiences in local development, and motivated by the conviction that by connecting they can amplify their opportunities for success through strengthened cooperation and technical exchanges with other cities. WACAP has stayed focused on forging these alliances and connections throughout its member-city network by offering a platform for municipal officials, individuals, governments, representatives from business and from all sectors of society to meet and confront the many faces and forms of urban poverty together – a platform where they can showcase and discuss successful solutions with partner cities, and learn from past efforts and strategies that may have fallen short.
In nearly two decades of work dedicated to bringing together cities, municipal leaders and administrators to examine, share and scale up innovative programs for addressing urban poverty and social exclusion, WACAP has proven that it is through the power of connecting and partnership that local development efforts can yield the most impressive results. And the need for such cooperation and networking at the local level has at no time been greater, as cities face the dual challenges of accommodating future growth while working to ensure that they can provide a sound and conducive living environment with adequate choices and opportunities for current and future generations.