Bonn aiming for more sustainability

Posted by UNDP , UNDP March 1 2019 0 Local experience

In the coming years, the City of Bonn will focus on the 17 global Sustainable Development Goals in its own municipal activities and thus wants to become even more sustainable. Mayor Ashok Sridharan and the members of the Administrative Board made this clear at the presentation of the first municipal Sustainability Strategy on Wednesday, 13 February 2019. The strategy provides an overarching framework and political guidance for the period up to 2030.

The Council of the City of Bonn adopted the first municipal Sustainability Strategy at the beginning of February. This strategy is Bonn's contribution to the systematic implementation of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals as laid down by the United Nations. It was developed over a period of two years in close cooperation with representatives from politics, civil society, science and business. This was followed by a political consultation process lasting several months in which numerous technical committees were involved.

How can the great vision of worldwide sustainable development, to which all member states of the United Nations committed themselves with the adoption of Agenda 2030 on 25 September 2015, be implemented by cities and municipalities here in North Rhine-Westphalia? This was the central question of the pilot project "Globally Sustainable Municipality in NRW", in which the City of Bonn participated. As one of 15 model municipalities, it developed a municipal sustainability strategy under the project. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) as set out in Agenda 2030 are transferred to six thematic areas of municipal action in Bonn. In addition to comprehensive sustainability guidelines describing a scenario for 2030, the strategy contains measures for the next three to five years.

"Bonn is positioning itself as a city that systematically orients its actions towards sustainability and thus makes the city fit for the future. For us, the Sustainability Strategy is the framework for the next eleven years up to the year 2030," emphasizes Mayor Ashok Sridharan. "As a UN City, we are particularly committed to implementing the 17 global sustainability goals in our own municipal activities.” It took a good two years to develop the strategy. The Mayor's thanks go to all colleagues from all six administrative branches who contributed to the strategy, as well as to the project working group with representatives from politics, civil society, science and business.

 

Systematic agenda with existing concepts and new projects

True to the motto: "A goal without a plan is only a wish", existing concepts and Council decisions were supplemented by current and planned projects and brought together to form a systematic and comprehensive agenda for sustainable urban development, which, with the Council’s decision, provides a binding direction for the coming years. Based on the holistic sustainability approach of Agenda 2030, the strategy also includes municipal fields of action that have not yet been explicitly considered in the context of sustainability, such as Social Participation and Gender Justice. The other thematic areas are: Mobility, Climate and Energy, Natural Resources and Environment, Labor and Economy as well as Global Responsibility and One World.
 

A wide-ranging strategy

The range in the strategy is wide: The expansion of the city's Biodiversity Strategy, the energetic refurbishment of existing buildings, the expansion of renewable energies, the increased promotion of mixed building types in new construction projects or the increasing use of organic products in municipal canteens are just as listed as action days for family-conscious HR policy, the formation of a new sustainability network with 200 to 300 companies or the strengthening of citizen participation.

The promotion of the participation of migrants, the testing of a part-time leadership model in the City Administration and the participatory expansion of the disability policy participation scheme are also components of the strategy.

In the area of mobility, the expansion of public transport is planned through new connecting points and lines. Cycle traffic is to be strengthened, for example, by setting up mobile stations, closing gaps in the cycle route network or developing rapid cycle routes. For the delivery of goods in the city center, an infrastructure is to be set up that provides for the use of e-wheels and e-commercial vehicles.

Global responsibility is to be further strengthened in Bonn through a concept for "sustainability in sports" involving clubs and the procurement of sports equipment from fair production. Moreover, it is planned to increase the number of fair-trade schools, to establish fair day-care centers, to expand fair municipal procurement and to further intensify municipal project partnerships with cities from other continents.

In line with the comprehensive relevance of the strategy, twelve specialist committees were involved in the consultation process. The Administration will now submit a regular report to the Council on implementation and further development.
 
 

Background: The 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations

On 25 September 2015, the United Nations adopted Agenda 2030 and the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs cover all areas of sustainable development: from marine and climate protection to poverty reduction, humane working conditions and the rule of law. For the first time, environmental and development policy goals have been brought together in a common global agenda.

The SDGs are addressed to all countries and will in the future also guide action in Germany at federal, state and local level. The Sustainability Strategy of the Federal Government, which was relaunched in 2016, is based on the SDGs, as is the Sustainability Strategy of the State of North Rhine-Westphalia. By signing the model resolution of the German Association of Cities and Towns in February 2016, Bonn committed itself to implementing the SDGs at municipal level.
 
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