The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out the global development agenda until 2030. In doing so, the goals aim at pushing forward environmental sustainability, social inclusion and economic development through cross-sectoral cooperation.
Despite the strong national focus of the 2030 Agenda, cities play a crucial role regarding their implementation. In many countries, cities and regions have core competencies for policy areas underlying the SDGs. This includes sectors such as water, housing, transport, infrastructure, land use or climate change. According to the OECD, the engagement of subnational governments is crucial for achieving around two thirds of the 169 SDG targets.
OECD supports cities and regions to achieve the SDGs
Since almost 60% of total public investment in the OECD area in 2016 came from subnational governments, cities are key player for sustainable development. Hence, the OECD launched a Programme on a Territorial Approach to the SDGs. The programme aims at supporting cities and regions to develop implement and monitor strategies to achieve the SDGs.
Thereby, the OECD programme includes the following activities:
- measuring where cities and regions stand vis-à-vis the national average and their peers;
- engaging a multi-level dialogue with their lower and upper levels of government to build consensus on who can do what, at what scale and how; and
- sharing best practice and lessons from international experience.
The OECD developed a tool that measures the performance of more than 600 regions and 600 cities of OECD and partner countries. In doing so, the tool uses more than 100 indicators. This allows cities and regions to monitor their performance or access valuable baseline indicators to develop or adapt their strategies.
If you are curious how your city or region is performing, visit www.oecd-local-sdgs.org.
Sustainable Development Goals and the Danube Strategy
The way cities are involved in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) has also a great impact on the progress of the EU Danube Strategy. The SDGs work as an overarching framework for development strategies for countries around the world.
Hence, countries within and outside of the European Union are equally committed to achieve the SDGs. This is also acknowledged in the revised EUSDR Action Plan. The actions and targets of the Action Plan are aiming at contributing to the 2030 Agenda.
In return, the Danube Strategy offers a framework to support cross-sectoral and transnational cooperation and coordination. Thereby, the Danube Strategy seeks to challenge policy-making with a strictly sectoral view. Additionally, with Priority Area 10 “Institutional Capacity and Cooperation”, the Danube Strategy explicitly encourages the engagement of cities and municipalities in regional development.
Against this background, the OECD programme on a Territorial Approach to the SDGs could support cities and municipalities in increasing their capacities and knowledge in order to enhance their performance in view of the SDGs.