Localizing the SDG’s through multi-stakeholder partnerships
In the City of Utrecht, growing urbanisation and traffic flows will make it a challenge – now and in the future, and for all its 350,000 inhabitants – to keep the city as healthy as possible. It is the ambition of Utrecht municipality to develop a model for "healthy urban living for everyone"; a city in which health is central in everything we do, where healthy citizens live in a healthy environment and work in a healthy economy. This requires an integrated, interdisciplinary and multi-stakeholder approach. That is why Utrecht has adopted the SDGs as a framework to orient the city’s development. The global outlook of the SDGs allows the municipality to connect its local development strategy to international sustainability standards.
Within the Utrecht Global Goals City framework (applicable until 2030), the municipality localizes the SDGs, together with citizens, the private sector and knowledge institutions, by:
- Facilitating a local campaign to raise awareness and stimulate local SDG action;
- Creating and supporting coalitions with local stakeholders to address international sustainable development challenges.
The lessons learned have cumulated into new and unexpected local stakeholders joining the Utrecht4GlobalGoals movement. For example, a multi-stakeholder coalition of Utrecht municipality, local businesses and Utrecht4GlobalGoals are bringing the international Climate Planet to Utrecht. Within this 20 metre high globe, a 360 degree film shows the urgency of climate change and provides inspiration for a sustainable future. The fact that local stakeholders, supported by the municipality, take the lead and share the financial risk, creates high involvement and responsibility to guarantee the impact of the event. The total cost of the event is over 750,000 euros and the aim is to attract 50,000 visitors.
Utrecht and other cities are uniquely positioned to be leaders, catalysts, educators, facilitators, implementers, and patrons of the SDGs because they are the common link connecting so many of the other key players in this story. They are responsible for the health and opportunities of their residents and businesses, and at the same time, they engage with national and international entities to shape policies, fund projects and programmes, and create norms, all of which can be leveraged to support the SDGs. Utrecht takes this responsibility seriously and invites any entities or individuals working to advance the SDGs to be in touch about collaborating.
All the products and services it has developed or co-created, such as the local SDG data dashboard and the Utrecht4GlobalGoals communication campaign, can be copied or applied by other cities, anywhere in the world. Only by supporting other cities and regions in their efforts to achieve the goals, especially those with fewer resources, will the SDGs be achievable on a global scale. Utrecht is already sharing its experiences and cooperating with a coalition of Dutch SDG municipalities, and an informal network of European SDG cities.
Guangzhou Award for Urban Innovation, Localizing the SDGs through Multi-Stakeholders Partnerships, http://www.guangzhouaward.org/award_d.aspx?CateId=288&newsid=1380