Today, the High Level Political Forum for the implementation of the SDGs and Agenda 2030 ends in New York City. On this occasion, Mayor Peter Kurz explains how the city of Mannheim, Germany is working towards implementing Agenda 2030 locally. Political leaders, the city administration and the citizens are collaborating to create an inclusive, citizen-oriented city.
The factory and power plant chimneys which once belched smoke, blighting our urban landscapes, have largely disappeared. Our rivers are no longer open sewers, and quality of urban life has improved immeasurably. Where centres of heavy industry once polluted the environment, there are now eco-friendly cities – like Essen, the European Green Capital. So is it all good in Germany? This question was also discussed at the Annual Conference of the German Council for Sustainable Development on 29 May.
In many countries cities are struggling to satisfy even the basic needs of their population. Therefore, we need a more sober and objective assessment of the essential conditions that will need to be in place if cities are to properly perform the functions anticipated in the SDGs.
In the course of the German Habitat Forum taking place on 1 and 2 June 2016 in Berlin the so called “Berlin Recommendations” were developed and ultimately passed by more than 1000 participants from 74 countries. Here are the recommendations in short.