The PFVT on the international stage

 The PFVT federates the activities of the French delegation to international events in order to enhance the integration of urban and territorial issues in the world agenda. Since its establishment the PFVT has participated in the following events:

10th World Urban Forum, Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates), 2020

Organised by UN-Habitat, the Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum held from 8-13 February 2020 in Abu Dhabi (United Arab Emirates). The theme was "Cities of opportunities: Connecting Culture and Innovation"

The French Parthnership for Cities and Territories organised the French Presence on the French Pavilion. Representatives from all the colleges were present, representing the diversity of the French expertise: the State and public institutions, local authorities, professionals, businesses, research and training organizations and non-governmental organizations. 

During all the Forum, different sequences of events took place on the French Pavilion: 

  • Interactive debates about several thematics discussed by French and international actors: the role of the urban planner, SDGs in French policies, food and agriculture, affordable housing, informal city, sustainable cities in Europe, citizenship and the women's status in the city, resilience, climate and mobility. 
  • Presentation of initiatives and inspiring projects: "la pépinière urbaine" by the Agence Française de Développement (AFD), the program "Africa sustainable city" by USF, "Ateliers de Bangui and Kampala" by Les Ateliers de Cergy, ASTON network, Woelab of Lomé, the research program POPSU Monde, the "industrials demonstrators for the sustainable city" (démonstrateurs industriels pour la ville durable) by the Ministry of territorial cohesion and "Rêve de Seine Urbaine", the climate change observatory by Climate Chance, and the program of the planners of Morocco. 

A round-table "Achieving an inclusive city. A France-UAE perspective" with the Sorbonne University Abu Dhabi was also organised about sustainable and inclusive cities. Emiratis and French stakeholders presented their pratices and discuss about how to work together. 

In the official context of UN-Habitat, five flagship programmes were launched during this Tenth Session: 

  1. Inclusive, vibrant neighbourhoods and communties (Document PDF)
  2. People-focused smart cities (Document PDF)
  3. Climate resilience of the urban poor (Document PDF)
  4. Migrant-inclusive cities and communities (Document PDF)
  5. SDG Cities (Document PDF)

WUF10 was also the opportunity to launch various partnerships between French actors and UN-Habitat: 

  • AIVP signed a MoU with UN-Habitat opening a new stage in their collaboration for sustainable port cities. 

mou AIVP 


  • MTPA-gn (Metropolitan and Territorial Planning Agencies global network) signed a MoU with UN-Habitat, for the development of commun projects about the strengthening of tools of local actors for sustainable territorial planning, in particular by pooling the expertise of urban planning agencies and the experience of UN-Habitat urban labs. 



  • Sciences Po Paris Ecole Urbaine signed a MoU with UN-Habitat, to contribute to the World Cities Report and develop the "capstone projects". 

mou sciencepo


Finally, the film "Briançon, living the historical center" was awarded best short film - Better cities film festival World Urban Forum. Film produced by Rebecca Levin and CAPA Agency, by the Ministry of territorial cohesion and the Ministry of the ecologic and fair transition, in the context of the research program led by the POPSU (Plateforme d'Observation des Projets et Stratégies Urbaines), it examines the revitalisation of the historical centre of Briançon and the cité Vauban, a heritage which has been classified by UNESCO. 

Film popsu

You can watch it here: 


Conference of the United Nations on housing and sustainable urban development - Habitat III, October 2016

The Habitat III conference is to be held from 17 to 20 October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador, and is the third UN-Habitat conference organised around the themes of housing and sustainable urban development, following those in Vancouver in 1976 and Istanbul in 1996. To find out more about the different stages of the preparation process for the conference, please go to our portal specifically dedicated to Habitat III and the mobilisation of French actors in the field of urbanism.

COP21, December 2015

The Paris Agreement, which the Member States adopted on 12 December 2015 at the COP 21 conference proposes to limit global warming to less than 2°C. in order to meet this goal, it has established the principle of joint but differentiated responsibility, which commits industrialised countries to funding aid to less advanced countries to the tune of 100 billion a year between now and 2020, in order to support their policies for mitigation and adaptation. On the other hand, some key points were not included in the Agreement, including fixing a price for carbon or compensation for losses and damages for the countries most vulnerable to climate change.

COP 21 saw a massive investment from non-state players in finding answers to climate change at all levels, from the local to the national, the regional to the international. COP 21 also enabled the Lima-Paris Action Agenda to be extended. The Agenda highlights concrete commitments made by cities, regions, foundations, banks and businesses or coalitions of state actors in areas linked to sustainable development and climate. See the NAZCA platform.

Some thirty events relating to sustainable urban development were organised by PFVT members between 30 November and 12 December 2015, notably:

  • A conference on climate action by cities organised by Cities Alliance and UN-Habitat
  • A conference on the link between COP 21 and Habitat III and the mobilisation of French actors in urbanism organised by Vivapolis
  • A conference on the levers of public-private partnerships to meet the challenges of urbanisation and climate change organised by UN-Habitat and the World Urban Campaign
  • A debate on the importance of measuring the climate impact of city policies organised by the AFD (French Development Agency)
Climate and Territories Summit, July 2015

The technical secretariat of the PFVT participated to the Climate & Territories global Summit, which was held in Lyon on the 1st and 2nd of July 2015. Organized 5 months before the 21st Conference of Parties (COP 21) on climate change, this global Summit was a key stage among approximately thirty preparatory events. Major meeting between non-state stakeholders, the Climate & Territories Summit gathered the main networks of local authorities and NGOs.

The PFVT mobilized its members around three central topics, through workshops focusing on territorial planning, on adaptation measures to climate change and on financing of climate-friendly measures. These workshops were nourished of exchanges of experiences between participants and resulted in texts proposals shared during plenary sessions in order to contribute to the COP 21 debates. This summit was marked by a very strong commitment of territorial actors. François Hollande announced that financing means for the implementation of climate actions would be directly accessible to local authorities.

The World Urban Campaign, Naples - Italia, October 2014

WUC Caserta
Held in Caserta, from 15 to 18 October 2014, the Campus gathered together around 80 participants from UN Habitat, Civil Society organizations, Planning Institutes, Universities and Research Centres. The Technical Secretariat participated in the event.

During the Urban Thinkers Sessions and the Urban Labs, members of the World Urban Campaign shared experiences, new practices and models. 

Key representatives gathered in their constituent groups (Local Authorities and Governments; Research and Academia; Civil Society and Grassroots; Women; Prefessionals and Private Sector; Children and Youth) in order to develop consensus on the position of their constituent group to The City We Need document.



The PFVT at the fifth International Local Communities Action Forum, July 2014

Organised by Cités Unies France and moderated by Marc Trouyet from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, the 4 July conference on local communities' international action and French expertise on sustainable cities brought together Marie Bjornson Langen, AFD, Yves Dauge, PFVT, Elie Gebrayel, city of Ghalboun, Alain Levy and Basile Pierre, city of Issy les Moulineaux, Muneharu Nakagaï, city of Toyo-Oka, Michèle Pappalardo, Mieux vivre en ville and Pierre Victoria, Veolia, to discuss issues involving sustainable cities, economic diplomacy and international influence. Cités Unies France will publish the proceedings.

5e Forum CUF Marc Trouyet, Deputy Director of Democratic Governance, MAEDI
Elie Gebrayel, Mayor of the City of Ghalboun (Lebanon)
Michèle Pappalardo, Vivapolis, and Yves Dauge, co-president, PFVT


"Expertise markets in the area of urban planning in Vietnam", May 2014

The PFVT was a partner of the Urban Expertise Days, which the Idefie organisation held in Hanoi at the end of May with support from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development and Adetef and the partnership of Vietnam's Ministry of Construction.

Several of the PFVT members participated in the event, including the Institut d'aménagement et d'urbanisme d'Ile-de-France, rhe Ateliers de Cergy, Cerway, Veolia and the Conseil supérieur du notariat and researchers. Vietnamese administrations, agencies and companies had productive exchanges of ideas with public agencies, companies, urban planners, legal experts and economists presenting French know-how and achievements in France, Vietnam (the PADDI in Ho Chi Minh City and the Institut des Métiers de la Ville in Hanoi) and other countries. For example, EDF showed the results it achieved with Veolia in Singapore in the area of information processing of buildings' energy consumption.

Representatives from UN Habitat and the donors present (AFD and the United Nations) recalled that Vietnam's cities are growing at a brisk pace (the urbanisation rate reached 30% in 2009), sharply increasing the demand for energy, straining agricultural resources, fuelling the growth of inequality due to the shortage of quality housing and urban services and raising vulnerability to climate change. Vietnam, a middle-income country, receives abundant international funding (the European Union has earmarked €400M in development assistance for the 2014-2020 period), although AFD, which has a strong presence there, said it was reducing its aid and seeking to achieve the best effect by leveraging its loans.

Based on examples, French experts showed the importance of having a planning framework and tools geared towards the local level as well as urban planning, housing, construction and land ownership laws. Vietnam has launched programmes, implemented strategies and passed laws in the areas of land ownership and housing. However, the planning process could be more participatory and strategic by keeping a step ahead of urban expansion. This would also allow better implementation.

Specific cases illustrated the availability and reliability of data, programming and phasing-in of development and infrastructure, participation of citizens, land ownership security, energy efficiency of buildings, prevention of floods and adaptation of urban offer to floating populations. The pricing of urban services, viability of public-private partnerships in the areas of the environment and transport and adequacy of legislation also gave rise to lively discussions during which Vietnamese officials voiced their interest in working with French expertise.


7th World Urban Forum (WUF) organized by UN-Habitat, Medellin, Colombia, April 2014

Organized by UN-Habitat since 2002, the World Urban Forum (WUF) is the main international conference on urban development associating all the actors in the urban field: public, private, civil society, researchers and academics, etc.

The 7th Session of the World Urban Forum was held from April 5-11, 2014, in Medellin, Colombia, on the theme of "Urban Equity in Development – Cities for Life." Some 22,000 participants contributed to identifying urban challenges and prepared the post-2015 agenda for the United Nations and the Habitat III conference, which will meet in 2016 to redefine the international urban agenda for the next 20 years.

With a presence over 200 experts, the French delegation was coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development in the framework of the PFVT.

Among the focal points presented by the French participants:

  1. The French guidelines on local public project contracting, drawn up in the framework of the PFVT. These guidelines led to a networking event on April 8 organized by the PFVT; speakers included Marc Trouyet, Head of division for democratic governance at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, and Yves Dauge, former senator from Indre-et-Loire.
  2. France's policies advocating the development of sustainable cities, soft densification or citizen participation, and innovations in societal, environmental and economic terms. These themes were addressed during a networking event on April 8 with the participation of Jérôme Masclaux, deputy assistant director for sustainable development at the Ministry of Housing and Territorial Equality.
  3. AFD intervention focusing on its commitments to sustainable urban development.
  4. The theme "city and climate," in the framework of preparations for the Conference of the Parties on Climate Change (COP21), which France will host in 2015.

At the Pavilion France, the French participants presented their experiences in the sustainable urban development area, through exhibits, workshops, films and background documents.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development has realised a making-off during the WUF.


For more information:



4th World Congress of United Cities and Local Governments, Rabat, Morocco, October 2013


"To be the united voice and world advocate of democratic local self-government, promoting its values, objectives and interests, through cooperation between local governments, and within the wider international community."


United Cities and Local Governments (CGLU) represents and defends the interests of local governments in international discussions.

The 4th World Congress took place from October 1 – 4, 2013 on the theme "Imagine Society, Build Democracy." It attracted around 3,700 participants from over a thousand countries. The French delegation, which included 147 members, was one of the largest present.

The PFVT was responsible for organizing Pavilion France in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development, the Cooperation and Cultural Action Service of the French Embassy in Morocco and Cités Unies France.

The PFVT participated in organizing a side event, "The Challenges of Urban Growth: what Methods for Local Authorities?", in support of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development. The event, organized by MAE and PFVT, was held on October 1, 2013 and brought together some 50 participants.


10th meeting of Ecocity – the World Summit on Sustainable Cities, Nantes, France, September 2013


Ecocity is a platform to accelerate change at the global level in partnership with the United Nations.

"The city is the essential workplace for meeting the global challenge of sustainability." Ecocity 2013

This 10th meeting was an opportunity for the PFVT to establish initial contact with partners present at the summit. The PFVT made an appearance as one of the founding partners of the Vivapolis initiative, launched at this time.


6th Africities Summit, Dakar, Senegal, December 2012


The PFVT participated to the 6th edition of the Africities summit on the theme « Building Africa from its territories: what challenges for the local governments? » organized by UCLG Africa, representative of local government in Africa. The French delegation was coordinated by Cites Unies France.

Partners have organized many events. One of them, organised by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, focused on urban governance and local taxation.The PFVT has organised two events; first on the strategic urban planning based on the experiences of the cities of Dakar, Bamako, Addis Abeba and Antananarivo ; and the second on local access to basic services for all.


6th World Urban Forum organized by UN-Habitat, Naples, Italy, September 2012


The World urban Forum, organised by ONU-Habitat, is the main international conference on urban development. Focused on the theme "the urban future", the French delegation at the 6th WUF represented the diversity of the French urban actors (administrations, local government, private sector, NGO and academic organisations). It was one of the largest delegation among developed countries. The delegation was coordinated by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs with the support of the PFVT. French participated to 50 sessions, in which 4 plenary: Speakers, Jean-Marc Michel, French Ministry of TerriotrialHousing, Pierre Cohen, Mayor of Toulouse, Dov Zerah,Director General of the French Development Agency and Hubert Julien-Laferrière, vice-president of Grand Lyon.

Six officials events was organised by French actors on the following themes: public space in upgrading of precarious settlemnts projects; sustainable urban strategy; urban international action of local governements, governance and civil society; eco-habitat for smart cities. At the Pavilion France, participants presented their experiences through exhibits, workshops, and films.

Two themes promoted by France: urban planning strategy and access to basic services for all in the context of decentralisation.


United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development Rio+20, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, June 2012


"Sustainable cities" arises from the theme : "green economy in sustainable development and fight against poverty". Around thirty events deals with this theme and the French Pavilion was dedicated to "innovation, sustainable cities and territories".

Two sessions was organised by the PFVT:

- "the actors of sustainable cities, a co-construction approach" with Veolia Environnement, Cites Unies France, the French Institute for Public Private Partnerships, Artelia, the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the French Ministry of Ecology

- "Innovative approaches to sustainable territorial development", with Ademe, the French Development Agency and Comité 21.

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has organised one event with Veolia Environnement and the French Institute for Public Private Partnerships on "10 years of basic services". Another event organised with UCLG focused on "sustainable cities and territorial cohesion, strategic issues to a sustainable future".


6th World Water Forum, Marseille, France, March 2012


The PFVT organized, mars 14, a plenary session during the Local and Regional Authorities conference of the World Water Forum on "governance of basic services" (water and sanitation) in the context of decentralisation in developing countries.

Co-chaired by Mr Josep Roig, UCLG Secretary General, and Mr. Joan Clos, Executive Director ONU Habitat, this event has highlight the leading role of France to implement the Guidelines on decentralization and access to basic services for all (5 pilot programmes supported by the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs : Senegal, Burkina Faso, Lao, Togo, Comoros), and the support of the French Ministry for the elaboration of the report GOLD 3. Two members have participated to this event : Veolia environnement and the French Institute for Public Private Partnerships.