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Leeds launches new international forum

This month Leeds City Council launched a new international forum as part of the city’s efforts to work with international partners to share best practice on the most important urban challenges faced by cities across the world.

The forum, known as the Global Leeds Forum, will take place several times a year, bringing together small groups of cities that have taken a leading and innovative approach to a topic that is of strategic importance to Leeds.

The first Global Leeds Forum kicked off this month (March) with a focus on tree planting and its role in tackling the climate emergency. This is a topic of high importance to Leeds, with a commitment to plant 5.8 million trees as part of efforts to be carbon neutral by 2030.

During the online seminar, colleagues from Leeds heard about how Hangzhou (China), Brno (Czech Republic), Lyon (France) and Porto (Portugal) were increasing canopy cover in their cities. Initiatives included encouraging residents to plant more trees in their gardens with tree giveaways, and innovative partnership approaches that allow for increased tree planting across public and private land.

Leeds City Council’s Executive Member for Infrastructure and Climate, Cllr Helen Hayden opened the inaugural Global Leeds Forum. Commenting on the event she said: “In Leeds we believe strongly in the power of international cooperation and how, by collaborating with leading global cities, we can learn from one another and work collectively to develop solutions and policies to our shared challenges.

“The Global Leeds Forum, which will provide a space for us to explore how cities around the world approach priority areas of strategic interest to Leeds.”

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