City to City: A Guide to the UCLG Learning Universe

This publication seeks to bring together a sample of our members’ efforts – the UCLG universe of learning – illustrating some of the practices of decentralised cooperation and learning between cities over recent years. This rich array includes experiences from municipal associations from both the North and South, Regional Sections and Committees of UCLG, as well as direct city-to-city cooperation.

The first section of the publication explores various forms of cooperation, ranging from decentralised cooperation in support of particular objectives, based on the notion of solidarity and social activism, to city-to-city cooperation for the sharing of technical knowledge that bolsters learning and capacity building, as well as the roles of the different actors engaged. It also underscores the value of such cooperation as an increasingly important development tool – particularly in light of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals and the capacity gaps that cities face in their implementation.

The second section presents an overview of some of the methodologies that underpin this collaboration, with a focus on what has worked well, and some of the lessons learned. It also highlights the critical need to constructively engage and involve both political and technical leaders.

The third section presents case studies, one on the engagement of Durban in the learning agenda, and the other on city-to-city cooperation between Barcelona and Medellin. Lastly, it illustrates on multiskateholder South-South triangular cooperation between Brazil and Mozambique.