The challenge for cities to cultivate development and address the existential threat of climate change was exacerbated in 2020 by the devastation of Covid-19.

The pandemic has uniquely affected cities in ways that are still being shaped. But they remain vital to countries’ economic engines and sustainable development.

National leaders must harness the power of cities to help their countries recover from the effects of Covid-19 in lasting ways that also help them meet development and climate objectives. Cities provide laboratories where policymakers can pilot transportation, energy and social programmes and form the basis for initiatives that can be scaled up throughout their countries.

This study examines six emerging economies – Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Mexico and South Africa – and proposes how national and urban leaders, as well as the private sector, can build inclusive, vibrant and climate-resilient futures.