Source: Small Island Developing States
The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has launched two pilot reports as part of its Territorial Approach to the SDGs program. OECD plans to launch an additional three reports at its upcoming roundtable on cities and regions for the SDGs.In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the authors note that the SDGs provide “a long-term vision and an integrated framework to rethink the ‘new normal’ through the lens of sustainability” and to engage local stakeholders in co-creating more resilient cities and regions. The two pilot reports focus on Bonn, Germany, and Kópavogur, Iceland.
The Bonn report recommends considering the transport needs of a growing and elderly population when promoting public transportation to reduce air pollution.
The city of Bonn has linked its 2030 Sustainability Strategy with the SDGs to address key challenges faced by the city and to manage trade-offs across economic, social, and environmental policy outcomes. The report titled, ‘A Territorial Approach to the Sustainable Development Goals in Bonn, Germany,’ shares how Bonn plans to provide affordable housing (SDG 11), expand and maintain green spaces (SDG 11), shift to clean forms of energy and transport (SDGs 7 and 13), and provide employment opportunities for all (SDG 8), particularly low-skilled workers (SDG 4). It reports that Bonn’s City Council declared a climate emergency in July 2019, and in November 2019 adopted a resolution to make Bonn climate-neutral by 2035.
The report recommends key actions to make the most of a territorial approach to the SDGs in Bonn, including:
- Using the SDGs to strengthen the link between the climate agenda and the social and economic dimensions of sustainability, such as by managing the trade-offs between providing additional affordable housing and maintaining and developing green spaces, and by considering the transport needs of a growing and elderly population when designing measures to promote public transportation to reduce air pollution;
- Continuing efforts to mainstream the SDGs in budgeting processes to ensure resource allocation to implement the Sustainability Strategy and the 2030 Agenda and to ensure policy continuity across political cycles;
- Developing actionable, evidence-based guidance for policy decisions, building on Bonn’s sustainability reporting and OECD data on the city’s distance from the SDG targets;
- Better leveraging the potential of the private sector to contribute to the SDGs; and
- Fostering direct involvement of cities and municipalities in national processes for implementing, measuring and reporting on the SDGs.
Kópavogur, Iceland, has a high performance on many SDG targets, but progress on some environmental SDGs is hindered by car dependence and per capita municipal waste. The report titled, ‘A territorial approach to the Sustainable Development Goals in Kópavogur, Iceland,’ provides guidance on how the SDGs can help to address these and other challenges through an integrated approach. Specific recommendations include using the SDGs as a tool for public service motivation to attract new staff, creating a national-level Task Force to strengthen vertical SDG coordination, and using the SDGs as a budgeting tool to prioritize resources allocated to the strategic plans supporting the implementation of the local strategy.
The Third OECD Roundtable on Cities and Regions for the SDGs will convene from 16-17 November 2020, co-organized by the OECD and the County of Viken, Norway. It will focus on the theme, ‘A Territorial Approach to the SDGs as a framework for long-term COVID-19 recovery strategies in cities and regions.’ Participants will discuss how the SDGs can help cities and regions shape and implement COVID-19 recovery strategies by sharing lessons, considering how to harmonize SDG measurement frameworks, and building on the OECD localized indicator framework, which measures the distance to the SDG targets for over 600 regions and 600 cities.
One session will discuss a policy brief titled, ‘OECD Policy Responses to COVID-19 in cities,’ that shares ten lessons for building back better in cities, related to clean mobility, public spaces, and circular economy, among other areas. Also during the roundtable, OECD will launch three additional reports on a territorial approach to the SDGs, focusing on Flanders, Southern Denmark, and Viken. [Publication: A Territorial Approach to the Sustainable Development Goals in Bonn, Germany] [Bonn Report Landing Page] [Publication: A territorial approach to the Sustainable Development Goals in Kópavogur, Iceland] [Kópavogur Report Landing Page] [Publication: OECD Policy Responses to COVID-19 in cities] [OECD Event Webpage] [SDG Knowledge Hub Sources]