City2City
COVID-19: Policy responses across Europe
02 July 2020 - Drawing on the content of this database of around 500 policy initiatives (April 2020), this report aims to present an overview of both large-scale government measures and collective agreements that impact on large groups of workers, setting this in the context of the evolving labour market situation.

02 July 2020 - The effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of individuals and societies, including on the economy and labour markets, is unprecedented.

The impact of the global health emergency has placed a growing number of businesses under threat, putting the jobs of more and more workers at risk and impacting the livelihoods of many citizens.

Policymakers moved swiftly in an effort to mitigate the social and economic effects on businesses, workers and citizens. Eurofound’s COVID-19 EU PolicyWatch database provides information on initiatives introduced to cushion these effects.

This report draws on the content of this database of around 500 policy initiatives as of April 2020. It aims to provide an overview of both large-scale government measures and collective agreements impacting on larger groups of workers and sets this into the context of the evolving labour market situation.

Read the full report here or download the attached PDF of the report.

Voluntary Local Review: The implementation of the UN SDGs in Mannheim 2030
29 June 2020 - The City of Mannheim has developed the “Mannheim 2030” Mission Statement from the 17 UN sustainability goals in a large-scale public participation process. It sets out how we intend to live in Mannheim in 2030 and in doing so live up to our global responsibilities.

29 June 2020 - Since January 2016, the United Nations (UN) 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) have served as a blueprint for all nations of the UN to implement sustainable development strategies. To formulate and implement an effective sustainable development strategy in the Rhine-Neckar Metropolitan Region, Mannheim’s municipal government must take a leadership role and be decisive in this capacity. The slogan “Think global, act local” makes sense here as we must be actively responsible in our efficient allocation and use of resources, especially considering the world’s social, economic, and ecological factors are more internationally linked than ever before.

This notion emphasizes the importance of efficient budget planning, coexistence in international and diverse cities, as well as intelligent consumption of food, water, energy, and other goods. Mannheim’s Fair-Trade Town program is an example of the city’s commitment to international relations, as it demonstrates Mannheim’s willingness to engage in fair economic interaction with other international cities and entities. Another key project is “Smart City Mannheim” which focuses on a strategy for modernizing and coordinating a variety of current and future digitalization and clean energy projects. From the medical technology industry to new mobility and industry 4.0, our future and the development of Mannheim are linked by several factors that will shape the city.

The City of Mannheim has developed the “Mannheim 2030” Mission Statement from the 17 UN sustainability goals in a large-scale public participation process. It sets out how we intend to live in Mannheim in 2030 and in doing so live up to our global responsibilities. We will regularly report the progress we have made in this regard to our citizens as well as the United Nations in a Voluntary Local Review (VLR). In this first VLR, we report on how we are achieving the “Mannheim 2030” Mission Statement with a description of the associated indicators and the measures we are already implementing to this end.

Access the full Voluntary Local Review here: https://www.local2030.org/pdf/vlr/mannheim-vlr-2020.pdf

“100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030” European Mission Launched - cities can register until 31 January
On the 25th of November, the European Commission launched a call for expression of interest for cities to join the European Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities. The objectives of the mission are to achieve 100 climate-neutral and smart European cities by 2030 and for these cities to become experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050. The call for expression of interest is available here. Cities can register now and have until 31 January 2022 to respond to the call. 

“100 Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities by 2030” European Mission Launched - cities can register until 31 January

by Anna Francis | Originally published in Energy Cities on 26 November 2021

On the 25th of November, 2021, the European Commission launched a call for expression of interest for cities to join the European Mission on Climate-Neutral and Smart Cities. The objectives of the mission are to achieve 100 climate-neutral and smart European cities by 2030 and for these cities to become experimentation and innovation hubs to enable all European cities to follow suit by 2050. Cities with over 50 000 inhabitants are eligible to apply and large cities are particularly encouraged. For countries with five or fewer cities above 100 000 population (i.e. Croatia (HR), Cyprus (CY), Estonia (EE), Ireland (IE), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Malta (MT), Slovenia (SI) and Slovakia (SK)), there is a lower threshold of 10 000 inhabitants. Cities with all kinds of climate-neutrality starting points are encouraged to apply.

The cities selected will be at the innovation forefront of the transition towards climate neutrality, as part of the European Green Deal. As the fight against climate change increasingly turns to the deployment of solutions, cities are best placed to be the early adopters of the policies to get to climate neutrality. In the process, it will allow them to deliver multiple benefits to their communities in terms of reduced air and noise pollution, less congestion, lower energy bills, and healthier lifestyles.

Cities participating in the mission will prepare and implement a “Climate City Contract” that will be co-created with local stakeholders and citizens. The benefits that the Cities Mission will offer cities include:

  • Tailor-made advice and assistance from a “Mission Platform” for example towards developing an Investment Plan to draw in external finance
  • Unlocking additional funding and financing opportunities through a “Mission label”
  • Funding opportunities for cities to be part of large innovation actions, pilot projects, and demonstrators
  • Support through a national coordination network
  • Networking opportunities, learning, and exchange of experiences among cities
  • Buy-in and involvement of citizens and local communities for climate-neutral solutions
  • High visibility – raising the political profile and attractiveness for investment and skilled workers

The mission will support different sectors to work together on smart, digital and other types of solutions to help achieve climate neutrality. Key sectors include:

  • Stationary energy (buildings, equipment, facilities), energy production and distribution
  • Transport
  • Waste management
  • Industrial processes and product use
  • Agriculture, forestry, and other land use

The Commission published an Info Kit for cities and a list of Frequently Asked Questions in October that contain detailed information about the mission. The call for expression of interest is available here. Cities can register now and have until 31 January 2022 to respond to the call. The Commission will announce the list of selected cities by March 2022. The first cities will be able to start working on their Climate City Contracts with the support of the Mission Platform as soon as the selection process is completed. Energy Cities is part of the NetZeroCities consortium, tasked with establishing and implementing the work of the Mission Platform.

Original article: https://energy-cities.eu/100-climate-neutral-and-smart-cities-by-2030-european-mission-launched/

Cover Image retrieved from here

UNECE Online Workshop: How will your city look in 2030?- Localizing the SDGs and the role of SDG Voluntary Local Reviews in CIS countries
The workshop aims to discuss existing experiences of developing VLRs in countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The workshop will contribute to updating the regional Guidelines and fine-tuning of the online training module on the VLRs.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Online Workshop: How will your city look in 2030?- Localizing the SDGs and the role of SDG Voluntary Local Reviews in CIS countries

Date and Time: 20 December 2021 | 9-11 AM Central European Time (CET)

UNECE elaborated the Guidelines for the Development of Voluntary Local Reviews (VLRs) in the UNECE Region which were endorsed by the UNECE Committee on Urban Development, Housing, and Land Management in October 2021. In cooperation with its partners, UNECE is also working on the development of an online training module to support cities in the localization of the SDGs and preparation of VLRs. The workshop aims to discuss existing experiences of developing VLRs in countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). The workshop will contribute to updating the regional Guidelines and fine-tuning the online training module on the VLRs.

The PDF of the draft programme is attached (in English and Russian).

Register here

UNECE Ministerial Meeting on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management

The Ministerial Meeting is expected to launch a report of the study “#Housing2030:  Improving Housing Affordability in the UNECE Region” which is being developed by UNECE in cooperation with Housing Europe and UN-Habitat; and to endorse a regional action plan for the UNECE region “Place and Life in the ECE - A Regional Action Plan 2030: Tackling challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, climate and housing emergencies in region, city, neighbourhood and homes”.

United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Ministerial Meeting on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management

Dates: 06 - 08 October 2021 | Register here

The UNECE Ministerial Meeting on Urban Development, Housing and Land Management will take place at the Palais des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland, on 6 and 7 October 2021, as part of the eighty-second session of the Committee on Housing, Urban Development and Land Management (6-8 October 2021). Both in person and online participation will be feasible. 

The draft detailed programme of the meeting with information on speakers and related timetable is attached and is also available on the meeting web page - https://unece.org/housing/cudhlm-session82

Watch the meeting here: https://media.un.org/en/asset/k14/k14fgg26lm

City and metropolitan financing: Exchanging views between Africa & France

This session, organised by the PFVT with the FMDV as part of PFVT exchange sessions, aims to address the questions below with practitioners from the public and private sectors.

  • How to finance this transition? What are the challenges and opportunities?
  • What resources can be mobilised, with which actors and what mechanisms?
  • What is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these issues?

City and metropolitan financing: Exchanging views between Africa & France

Date and Time: 7 October 2021 | 14:30 - 16:30 Central European Time (CET) | Register here

The major role of local governments in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Climate Agreement is unanimously recognised. 

Cities, whether they are metropolises or secondary cities, are powerful catalysts for development and innovation to meet global challenges, provided they have adequate funding. To meet the needs of an urban transition aligned with global objectives, it is estimated that USD 90 000 billion of investment in urban infrastructure is required. However, a large part of this funding is not yet being channelled to cities. 

Local government financing is characterised by a systemic market failure: despite the many sources of funding deployed since the adoption of these agendas, local governments still face insufficient access to resources because they have difficulties in fully meeting the requirements of financial actors. In emerging contexts, projects are sometimes not considered bankable and institutional frameworks may be inadequate.

This observation is particularly true in Africa, where the needs are the greatest: the African urban population has doubled in the last 25 years and will double again in the next 25 years, exceeding one billion Africans living in urban areas in 2045. These are populations that will have to be housed, transported, fed and educated and to whom access to water, food and energy must be provided.

This session, organised by the PFVT with the FMDV as part of PFVT exchange sessions, aims to address the questions below with practitioners from the public and private sectors.

  • How to finance this transition? What are the challenges and opportunities?
  • What resources can be mobilised, with which actors and what mechanisms?
  • What is the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on these issues?

Retrieved from https://www.metropolis.org/agenda/city-and-metropolitan-financing-exchanging-views-between-africa-france

Workshop - European Cities Localising the SDGs: Experiences and Lessons Learned

The City of Seville with Bratislava, Reggio Emilia, Oulu, Valencia and Turku will present and discuss their experiences of integrating the SDGs in their local strategies and actions. These cities, which participate to the URBAN2030 project of the Joint Research Centre, have been working on an evidence-based approach to SDGs and on supporting their policy decisions by meaningful data-based analysis.

Workshop - European Cities Localising the SDGs: Experiences and Lessons Learned

Date and Time: Thursday, October 14, 2021 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM Central European Time (CET) | Register here

DESCRIPTION

The EU has committed to fully integrate the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in the EU policy framework and recognises the principle of multilevel governance when designing and implementing EU policies.

Cities and local authorities are adopting different approaches to localise the 2030 Agenda. Regions, cities, and even communities are increasingly called on to act at their local scale on the required transformative actions and they are essential partners for effectively achieving the goals and for embedding local ownership of sustainability challenges and solutions.

The cities will illustrate their experiences and the results of local data analysis on the 2030 Agenda, to discuss bottlenecks and potential impacts of the localisation of the SDGs on city strategies and actions. Cities will report and engage with the audience on how to improve the participation of stakeholders and communities in the efforts to achieve the SDGs, considering recovery plans and actions.

The URBAN2030 Project aims to foster the achievement of SDGs in European cities and regions. It will offer an inspiring global reference for the design and implementation of SDG Voluntary Local Reviews. These reviews enable cities and regions to make the best use of knowledge and practical activities that are part of the process for the localisation of the 2030 Agenda.

Languages:

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Italian

Partners:

  • City of Bratislava
  • City of Oulu
  • City of Turku
  • City of Reggio Emilia
  • Municipality of Valencia (VAL)
  • Seville
  • European Commission - Joint Research Centre (JRC)

Learn more here: https://eu.app.swapcard.com/event/eu-regions-week/planning/UGxhbm5pbmdfNjMxMTE2

Integrating complexity in development handbooks, with mayors on the front page
Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG), a joint initiative by the EU and UNDP, was launched - with a reflection by Sir John Kay on why policymakers need to embrace radical uncertainty. The decision to work in cities in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region was a strategic one: 1) these countries are at the forefront of change; 2) the EU and UNDP have a long-term and standing engagement and support to cities; and 3) cities are a system in themselves and have been significantly affected by the pandemic.

Integrating complexity in development handbooks, with mayors on the front page

Posted on 4 August 2021 by UNDP Europe and Central Asia

Authors:

  • Mathieu Bousquet, Head of Unit, European Commission Directorate-General for the Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations (NEAR)

  • Agi Veres, Deputy Director, UNDP Regional Bureau for Europe and CIS 

Amidst his country’s COVID-19 response last year, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte noted “we need to take 100 percent of decisions with 50 percent of information”. 

By now, we recognize that traditional planning and decision-making tools are no longer relevant in this age of complexity and uncertainty. But the acknowledgement of that challenge also brings an opportunity for transformation.  Could a “new normal” for development planning and implementation emerge that embraces radical uncertainty and complexity as a feature, not a bug?  A new “handbook” per se for the way we approach development issues.

We are inspired by Nassim Taleb’s Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder. He describes anti-fragility as a convex response to a stressor or source of harm, leading to a system that is not only more resilient but grows, develops and gains from shocks. What would be the conditions and how could we, in the countries where we work, support our national counterparts to deal with shocks, be resilient and enable growth and rejuvenation. 

Taleb advocates for learning through experimentation:

“It is in complex systems, ones in which we have little visibility of the chains of cause-consequences, that tinkering, bricolage, or similar variations of trial and error have been shown to vastly outperform [judging only the results of actions].”

Similarly, John Kay (author of Radical Uncertainty and Obliquity) argues for disciplined pluralism: ”a system that encourages lots of experimentation.  It cuts off experiments that fail, and experiments that succeed are rapidly imitated,”

In neither of these cases are experiments thought of as short-term investments, but rather as rigorous, well-designed, and quantitatively and qualitatively monitored interventions that allow us not only to learn about their direct effects but also the indirect (oblique) effects that they have on the systems in which they are applied.

Odessa, Ukraine is one of the cities involved in the initiative. Photo: UNDP Ukraine

It is against this backdrop and with this intent for exploration and discovery that Mayors for Economic Growth (M4EG), a joint initiative by the EU and UNDP, was launched - with a reflection by Sir John Kay on why policymakers need to embrace radical uncertainty. 

The decision to work in cities in Eastern Europe and the Caucasus region was a strategic one: 1) these countries are at the forefront of change; 2) the EU and UNDP have a long-term and standing engagement and support to cities, and 3) cities are a system in themselves and have been significantly affected by the pandemic. More dense urban areas have had a higher prevalence of the virus, higher exposure to air pollution was linked to higher mortality rates, and access to green spaces (the benefit of which was widely recognized) is unequal, with more affluent areas having greater access.

Mayors for Economic Growth supports secondary cities in the Eastern Partnership countries to rejuvenate within planetary boundaries, allowing the environment and humanity to thrive for generations to come. The initiative engages over 400 municipalities to strengthen their capabilities to design for and finance regional development, develops an Urban Learning Center, and strengthens the learning network (exchange of best practices), including an annual forum. 

It will also have demonstrative interventions in at least 12 of the participating cities, exploring diverse trajectories for inclusive growth by taking a systemic approach, building on what works, and adapting and supporting local governments to attract and channel investment for local development.

The objectives of the Mayors for Economic Growth initiative

Beyond these targeted goals, the initiative is relevant in more strategic ways:

  1. Developing and nurturing partnerships with a shared intent is crucial. Complex challenges like the rejuvenation of industrial towns, climate change and building back better require an unprecedented level of collaboration, where trust and openness are foundational elements. Our work with local authorities and communities reflects this collaboration and shared intent between different actors and our two institutions. Partnerships with other institutions—Climate KICVinnovaSITRAOECD and others who are working in similar transformational spaces—are essential to share resources, learn faster and accelerate system transformation. This is just the beginning, and the initiative’s ability to hold open dialogues and exchange experiences will accelerate our collective learning.

  2. In pursuing different growth trajectories at the city level, we recognize the interconnectedness and need to work in systems. This goes beyond asking what problems we face right now, and instead looking towards understanding their drivers, interdependencies, models of resource distribution and how decisions are made. It requires moving away from linear models towards iterative learning, adaptation and flexibility. For mayors involved in the initiative, the purpose is to provide a sense of expanded options in the face of complexity, rather than resorting to “magic bullets” which don’t work.  Portfolios of development options are inherent to this. UNDP is already designing and activating this approach in around 20 locations globally.

  3. This shift requires a broader cultural and organizational change, as well as a change in mindset. The capability to listen, learn and adapt, while putting local ecosystems and existing societal narratives at the center, is key. Moving from predetermined solutions to discovery, creating an authorizing environment, opening space for social imagination, reflection and learning, and being guided by networking and co-creation, we will help drive this.  Systems leaders, including both individuals and institutions, will serve as catalysts and enablers of this process. The role requires optimism, flexibility and endurance, along with the ability to understand and empower stakeholders with very different viewpoints and incentives. The experience and influence of Mayors for Economic Growth informs strategy for change while empowering new leaders to enable that shift.

With the regional launch behind us and national launches in full swing, it’s important to state that this is only the start of a long process of change and adaptation for the cities, our partners and ourselves. At stake is the institutional renewal for both of our organizations. This is an invitation for others who are working on tackling similar challenges to engage and learn jointly with us as we devise our new “handbooks” as development practitioners.

Retrieved from https://www.eurasia.undp.org/content/rbec/en/home/blog/2021/new-development-handbooks-mayors-initiative.html

Cover Photo Credit: Shutterstock

Isuzu to Collaborate with Drive Electro on EV

Engineering company Drive Electro is planning to present Russia’s first medium-duty electric truck in the autumn of this year. The truck is based on the chassis of the Japanese vehicle Isuzu ELF.

Serial production is planned at Drive Electro’s plant, which is expected to open in the first quarter of 2022.

The vehicle will be a medium-duty delivery truck for retailers and other transport companies with a fully loaded weight of 9 tons. The Russian electric truck will be based on the chassis of the Japanese model Isuzu ELF (body, cabin, chassis). There are currently no medium-duty electric trucks on the Russian market at all: this niche has been taken by internal combustion engine vehicles. The new Drive Electro vehicle will be the first fully electric medium-duty truck and will have a range of around 200 km. It will be offered to customers with a 10-year life cycle contract that includes technical maintenance of the vehicle and provision of charging infrastructure. 

The vehicle is now in its certification stage, after which the new product will be unveiled. This will be the first production vehicle from Drive Electro’s plant, which is due for completion in May-June 2022, after which an experimental batch of the vehicles will be made. The plant has a maximum annual capacity of 1,000 sets of batteries for electric buses and 500 electric trucks, though initial production levels will be lower. 

According to experts, there could be a great demand for a truck of this kind “Gruzovichkof” (one of the leading freight companies in Russia) and IKEA have sought opportunities to switch their Russian logistics operations to electric vehicles but have failed to find a suitable truck on the market. There simply are no such trucks at present. But if Drive Electro’s vehicle is successful, people will want to buy it,” ‘Vedomosti’ was told earlier by Kirill Zhanaydarov, head of transport projects at the Skolkovo Foundation.  

Drive Electro already has experience of working with freight vehicles. In September 2020, the company presented the first experimental model of Russia’s first heavy-duty electric truck and handed it over for trial operation by a major food chain. That vehicle has a range of around 120 km fully loaded. Following successful testing, there are plans to sign a contract to supply 200 vehicles. In addition, Drive Electro is Europe’s biggest manufacturer of batteries for electric buses, having already made and supplied the city of Moscow with components for 400 electric vehicles. This year, the company will supply batteries for a further 200 buses in the city. 

The localisation of the SDGs in Europe: local and regional indicators and multilevel governance.
The Joint Research Centre (JRC) presents three methodological reports on the localisation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Europe. Under the coordination of the JRC, three international experts have elaborated specific analysis, based on the experiences of European local and regional governments that use monitoring as a tool to localise the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda.

The localisation of the SDGs in Europe: local and regional indicators and multilevel governance

by the Joint Research Centre (JRC) of the European Commission

This event was held on 16 June 2021.

The three reports provide evidence and insights on different elements and scales of these first-generation voluntary reviews.

- The first report explores the use of local indicators in European Voluntary Local Reviews between 2016 and early 2021.

- The second report proposes a set of regional indicators for the monitoring of the SDGs in Europe, based on the analysis of three subnational case studies.

- The third report focuses on the SDG localisation and multi-level governance, starting from lessons from the Basque Country to elaborate recommendations and insights which could contribute to the creation of SDGs ecosystems in other countries.

The main findings of the reports will be presented and discussed during the event, with the goal to identify additional methodological gaps and ways forward.

Background of the URBAN2030 – II project

The project URBAN2030 – II builds on the knowledge and experience gained in the preparation of the European Handbook for SDG Voluntary Local Reviews and the URBAN2030 project developed with the support of DG REGIO (2018 – 2020). The Project aims at fostering the achievement of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in European cities and regions providing knowledge and technical support for the designing and implementing SDG Voluntary Local Reviews. The project has the ambition to upscale efforts, working approaches and solutions through the setup of several Pilot cities and sub-national case studies.

The JRC has been working since October 2020 with a group of European cities to validate the proposed methodology: Bratislava, Oulu, Porto, Reggio Emilia, Seville, Valencia, Turku and Helsinki. Knowledge and insight from these works will feed the second edition of the European Handbook, which is planned for publication in 2022. This edition of the European Handbook will include an update on the state of the art on local reviews, a consolidated framework indicator set and policy recommendations on viable strategies for the future.

For more info e-mail alice.siragusa@ec.europa.eu

Content retrieved from https://knowledge4policy.ec.europa.eu/event/localisation-sdgs-europe-local-regional-indicators-multilevel-governance_en