We, the International Towns Federation(ITF) and the Center for Sustainable Development and Global Competitiveness at Stanford University(CSDGC), as well as a wide range of stakeholders, including local and regional authorities, non-for-profit organizations, academics,representatives of the private sector and civil society, gathering together at Stanford University on 18th January 2020,and participating in the International Towns Forum, which focused on the theme of sustainable development of towns.
Having met to discuss the challenges and opportunities of urbanization for further sustainable development of towns across the world,
Bearing in mind that each town has its advantages and characteristics, diverse and rich history of urbanization process, urban construction and community organization, and agreeing to seek effective approaches, strategies and tools that are not only able to respond to the specific challenges of the towns, but also contribute to addressing global issues,
Affirming that the major cities and towns where we live are the driving force of our global economy and society. Cities are civilization’s most efficient hubs of commerce, trade, and growth. Urban areas are civilization’s most prolific wells of education, culture, and innovation. They are the lifeblood of our modern world,
Recognizing that global urbanization on an unprecedented scale in the past has been extensive but unequal.Lack of housing and infrastructure for urban migrants, lack of safe drinking water for urban dwellers,and lack of education for children are just a few of the very common challenges faced by many of our urban communities.Cities and towns have become the source of our greatest social and environmental challenges.
Cognizant of the key role of well-managed and sustainable urbanization as a source of development and well-being of societies,
Declare the following:
1.The towns all over the world are diverse and colorful. They are precious treasures given by the nature. We must work together to defend our homeland, to prevent “urban diseases” from eroding our homes, to eliminate pollution and to achieve the goal of sustainable development.
2. The towns across the world vary widely and each single one of them has its own uniqueness and merits, which demonstrates the diversity of the world. We must exchange and learn the strength and weakness from each other and develop together.
3. Vast territory and rich resources make these towns an ideal place to live. We must take actions to protect the blue sky and the green mountains.
4. The towns around the world have long histories and splendid cultures. They are also our spiritual home. We must unite together to preserve the culture and its roots, and to retain the memories, the spirits.
5. The towns across the world keep changing significantly. The population of the towns is also growing rapidly. Towns have become the habitat of modern civilization. We must have more communications, enhance understanding, strengthen cooperation, make progress with the time developing, keep innovating, mutually share the successful management experiences, and progressively improve the service quality in towns.
6. There are fierce and beneficial competitions between towns all around the world. Consequently, they are the ideal places to undertake industries transferred from large and medium-sized cities. We must be aware of these features, be the leaders in these fields, carefully select industries, give an accurate position of ourselves, avoid blindly following the trends, refrain from duplicating the industries from others and pump inexhaustible power into towns.
7. The global market of towns is massive and has unlimited potential, which is an important target for capital investment. We must unite and create innovate investment & financing modes to lead international capitals into the town developments.
8. The towns across the world are facing with the future that is full of glorious prospects. The towns are like countless shining stars, embedded in the sky all over the world. We must occupy the commanding heights of science and technology, strengthen cooperation in the field of information technology, share informational resources, and jointly build up digital and intelligent towns.
9. We strongly recommend that comprehensive, long-term and focused political commitment and leadership be promoted at the global, regional, national and local levels for the achievement of Sustainable Development of towns across the world and the global consensus on a road map of sustainable development of towns for inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and human settlements is to be reached.
10.We call upon all stakeholders, including international, regional,national and local governments, research organizations, financial institutions, academics,private sectors and civil society to work collaboratively with each other to manage the increasing diversity and demographic complexity of our towns in order to address the social, economic and environmental challenges faced by urban dwellers.
In accordance with the above consensus, we have agreed to take the following measures to jointly promote sustainable development of towns around the world.
1.Jointly hold International Towns Forum every year in different place across the world. to study the problems faced by towns and to suggest solutions.
2. Establish a global cooperation platform for towns to share resources and complement each other’s experiences.
3. Establish a large database of global towns, provide information and intelligent services for global towns.
4. Establish a global towns’ happiness index evaluation system, and announce the global top 100 happiest towns every year.
5. Seek for partners for towns around the world and establish close cooperation between them.
6. Provide training and executive education for town builders, managers and designers.
7. Establish a town investment fund with industry partners to provide financial and industrial support for the development of towns.
8. Exchange and promote the managerial experience of global towns around the world, and improve the quality of life and happiness index of all towns.
9. Summarize the experiences and problems in development of towns around the world, and call on governments to formulate policies conducive to the development of towns.
10. Hold international conferences to study the problems faced by towns and suggest solutions.