City2City
Tackling Social Norms: A game changer for gender inequalities
02 July 2020 - The Gender Social Norms Index (GSNI) measures how social beliefs obstruct gender equality in areas like politics, work, and education, and contains data from 75 countries, covering over 80 percent of the world’s population. The analysis reveals that despite decades of progress closing the equality gap between men and women, close to 90 percent of men and women hold some sort of bias against women, providing new clues to the invisible barriers women face in achieving equality. The publication also includes the GSNI trends for 31 countries, representing 59 percent of the global population. The trends show that while in some countries there have been improvements, in others, attitudes appear to have worsened in recent years, signaling that progress cannot be taken for granted.

02 July 2020 - Gender disparities are a persistent form of inequality in every country. Despite remarkable progress in some areas, no country in the world—rich or poor—has achieved gender equality. All too often, women and girls are discriminated against in health, in education, at home, and in the labour market with negative repercussions for their freedoms.

This is the time for a reality check. The commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (Beijing+25) provides an opportunity to reassess the path to gender equality and adjust actions to close gender gaps.

The Gender Social Norms Index (GSNI) measures how social beliefs obstruct gender equality in areas like politics, work, and education, and contains data from 75 countries, covering over 80 percent of the world’s population.

The analysis reveals that, despite decades of progress closing the equality gap between men and women, close to 90 percent of men and women hold some sort of bias against women, providing new clues to the invisible barriers women face in achieving equality.

According to the index, about half of the world’s men and women feel that men make better political leaders, and over 40 percent feel that men make better business executives and that men have more right to a job when jobs are scarce. 28 percent think it is justified for a man to beat his wife.

The publication also includes the GSNI trends for 31 countries, representing 59 percent of the global population. The trends show that while in some countries there have been improvements, in others, attitudes appear to have worsened in recent years, signaling that progress cannot be taken for granted.

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

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.

Hamamatsu Voluntary Local Review Report 2019
01 July 2020 - 

Hamamatsu City is a government ordinance designated city, located between Tokyo and Osaka along the Pacific coast, with an area of 1,558km2 and a population of about 800,000. The population of the city is on a downward trend from its peak in 2008. It is projected that the population trend will continue and the aging ratio (27% as of 2018) will increase. One of the features with regard to the population in Hamamatsu is the number of foreign nationals, which accounts for 3% of the total population, 1% higher than the national average.

As a result of the merger of 12 local municipalities in July 2005, Hamamatsu became the second largest municipal area nationwide with diverse natural and social environment that includes urban, rural, mountainous and hilly areas. For this reason, it is referred to as a government ordinance-designated city that is a model of Japan in miniature. With rich forest and fishery resources, the primary industry is thriving in Hamamatsu. In addition, the city is famous for manufacturing and is the location of large corporations that are active on the global stage, such as Suzuki, Yamaha, Kawai, Hamamatsu Photonics, Roland, and FCC. Not only large companies but also small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and venture companies are also active. The higher ratio of primary and secondary industries compared to other government-ordinance designated cities in Japan is one of the characteristics of Hamamatsu.

Challenges

Hamamatsu City faces various challenges including the administrative costs to maintain and upgrade municipal services covering large administrative area, independence of underpopulated areas, administrative services that can meet to socio-economic environment and social needs that changes according to the population decline, low birthrate and progressive aging society, and co-existence with foreign residents. Against the background of the nuclear disaster as a result of the Great East Japan Earthquake and the subsequent deregulation of the electric power industry, Hamamatsu is also facing the need to put measures in place to continue to secure a stable supply of energy and to protect people’s lives and livelihoods against natural disasters (disaster prevention and mitigation).

Localisation and mainstreaming of the SDGs in Hamamatsu City

To tackle with a lot of local challenges, Hamamatsu City is managing city administration in partnership with various local stakeholders and by leveraging municipal budgets and local resources effectively. The Hamamatsu City Comprehensive Plan, the 30-year plan from 2015 is integrated with the principles of the SDGs, and therefore the city is promoting the SDGs implementation through the implementation of the comprehensive plan. The comprehensive plan of the city was drawn up using backcasting techniques. The comprehensive plan includes 12 vision-points for the desirable future of city called the “One Dozen Futures” and sets out comprehensive policies to achieve the vision. In the process of making the comprehensive plan, "the Hamamatsu Future Design Council" composed of experts and citizens having different backgrounds was established to review and discuss the plan. In addition to the discussion at the Council, the city interviewed citizens to hear and reflect more voices from citizens.

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

Voluntary Subnational Review: Oaxaca, Mexico
01 July 2020 - This preliminary version of the Voluntary Subnational Review is a first report on the activities that Oaxaca has carried out in relation to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, as well as a space for reflection and self-evaluation that identifies the challenges and lessons learned.

This exercise will be complemented by a methodology that enables the inclusion of citizens, academia, and the productive sector to evaluate the implementation of the 2030 Agenda in the state and municipalities. Additionally, management and performance indicators will have to be built to allow monitoring and faithful monitoring of the implementation of the 2030 Agenda and its impact, in order to generate periodic evaluations of the work carried out in the state and municipalities.

Subnational Level

1. As part of the efforts at the subnational level, a diagnosis was made of the situation in Oaxaca to determine the level of linkage between the planning structure and the state priorities with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs):

  • An analysis of the compatibility of the goals of the 17 SDGs with the objectives set out in the 2016-2022 State Development Plan
  • An exercise to link the 97 indicators of the 2018 budget programs with the 240 indicators of the 2030 Agenda
  • A classification of the 240 indicators of the 2030 Agenda according to the competencies, attributions, and scope of the 32 dependencies that make up the State Public Administration

2. The Legal Group made a proposal to reform the State Planning Law with the modification of 27 of its 121 articles, with the objective that the SDGs are considered in the planning process and that sustainable development is understood in its three dimensions: social, economic, and environmental.

3. The 2016-2022 State Development Plan is the governing document of public policy in Oaxaca. Currently, work is being done to update this plan with a focus on sustainability framed in the 2030 Agenda.

4. In 2018, the 12 sector plans, which establish the priorities, objectives, goals; as well as the current expenditure and investment estimates of each sector for the fulfillment of its objectives, were aligned in its strategic framework to the 2030 Agenda.

5. Three trainings were carried out during 2019 related to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for state public officials, municipal authorities, the staff of the Technical Liaison Modules, and for students of the Economics Department at the Benito Juarez Autonomous University.

Multi-Actor Alliances

1. The methodology for the inclusion of civil society, academia, and the productive sector was set up through which three Working Committees have formed: 1) Social Inclusion, 2) Economic Growth and 3) Environmental Sustainability, considering the three dimensions of sustainable development. These committees are integrated by representatives of state agencies, civil society, academia, and the productive sector. They aim to be a space for public policy innovation.

2. The Government of the State of Oaxaca has a technical cooperation agreement with the GIZ, which has the purpose of contributing to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda at the state and municipal level so that the vision of sustainable development is adopted for the fulfillment of the SDGs.

Municipal Level

1. As part of the technical cooperation with the GIZ, the Municipal Sustainable Development Plans Guide was prepared, which has as its main objective to guide the municipal governments in the preparation of the Municipal Development Plans with a participatory approach and sustainable development.

2. Likewise, in this same cooperation, a pilot sample of 10 municipalities was chosen to work in a coordinated manner with the GIZ and the Technical Work Committee in municipal planning, the prioritization of works, and citizen participation.

3. In order to strengthen the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, 547 Municipal Social Development Councils have been installed, which are spaces for a plural and inclusive participation and dialogue for the implementation of this agenda and are constituted as instances of linkage of the three levels of government, the social, and private sectors.

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

UN HABITAT: Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) through urban climate action
01 July 2020 - This guide provides practical opportunities for incorporating urban climate action and human settlement issues into the current NDC revision and enhancement process, drawing on existing knowledge and networks. 

01 July 2020 - In the coming months and years, Member States will continue to undertake domestic processes to review, strengthen, and implement their Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs). Inclusion of urban climate action and sub-national government stakeholders in NDC formulation, priority setting, targets, governance, and implementation has the potential to support government efforts to enhance the ambition and delivery of NDCs. Similarly, the NDCs can inform urban policies and priority setting.

This guide for Enhancing Nationally Determined Contributions through urban climate action provides practical opportunities for incorporating urban climate action and human settlement issues into the current NDC revision and enhancement process, drawing on existing knowledge and networks. 

We hope this guide can support countries to: 

  • Enhance the ambition of their NDCs in the current 2020 and future revision processes, by harnessing the mitigation and adaptation potential of human settlements and urban climate action to deliver a high quality of life while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and building resilience.
  • Support a more integrated approach to NDC development and implementation across national and local governments.
  • Implement their NDCs by aligning the activities of urban stakeholders behind a common vision for human settlements.
  • Embed their climate objectives into urban decision-making across all sectors of government 
  • Create the enabling frameworks towards the implementation of high-ambition NDCs at the sub-national level and help climate authorities to engage with urban authorities through a common basis of language and understanding.

This UN-Habitat publication was produced in a collaborative effort with a wide variety of expert contributors from; Arup, the Coalition for Urban Transitions, C40, the Environment, Forest & Climate Change Commission of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, the Environmental Protection Agency of Liberia, GIZ, Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy, Global Green Growth Institute, Go Green for Climate,  ICLEI, the NDC Partnership, REN21, UNDP, UNEP, UNFCCC, and the University of Southern Denmark. 

The guide was supported by the Urban-Low Emission Development Strategies (Urban-LEDS) project phase II, funded by the European Commission and implemented by UN-Habitat and ICLEI.

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

Cities on the Frontline Speaker Series #17 'Metropolitan Resilience’
29 June 2020 - This week’s topic will focus on ‘Metropolitan Resilience and how metropolitan areas have responded to the Covid19 crisis'. We will be joined by Mario Silva, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Planning Institute of Guadalajara, Xavier Tiana, Director of International Affairs at the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona and Octavi de la Varga, Secretary-General of Metropolis.

29 June 2020 - Please join us for the 17th Session of Cities on the Frontline, jointly organized by Global Resilient Cities Network & the World Bank.

This week’s topic will focus on ‘Metropolitan Resilience and how metropolitan areas have responded to the Covid-19 crisis'. We will be joined by Mario Silva, Executive Director of the Metropolitan Planning Institute of Guadalajara, Xavier Tiana, Director of International Affairs at the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona and Octavi de la Varga, Secretary-General of Metropolis.

The session will take place on Thursday, 2 July 2020, at 9.30 AM EST / 1.30 PM GMT / 09.30 PM Singapore Time. Please register here: https://bit.ly/metropolitanresilience

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing log-in info and a calendar detail that can be added to your system.

Missed a session? For access to the previous sessions' materials, visit our Speaker Series webpage for full access to the presentations & recordings: https://bit.ly/citiesonthefrontline

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

How the SDGs can help cities focus COVID-19 recovery on inclusion, equity, and sustainability: Voices from the field
27 June 2020 - These interviews with city leaders offer insights into how the principles of the SDGs can provide support on rebuilding an inclusive economy.

27 June 2020 - Prior to COVID-19, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) were gaining traction among local governments and city leaders as a framework to focus local policy on ambitious targets around inclusion, equity, and sustainability. Several cities published reports of their local progress on the SDGs in Voluntary Local Reviews (VLR), echoing the official format used by countries to report their nation’s progress at the U.N.

Then came the current crisis. The focus immediately shifted to managing the health crisis and the closing of the economy. In the next few years, the priority for local decisionmakers will be recovery. It is too early to know whether the time-bound targets of the SDGs will be reset, but their principles remain useful to organizing a recovery that combines growth, inclusion, and sustainability.

These interviews with city leaders, which occurred at a Brookings SDG Leadership Cities gathering hosted by Mexico City just months before COVID-19 emerged, illustrate this framework. They offer insights into how the principles of the SDGs can provide support on rebuilding an inclusive economy.

1. The SDGs are a basis for sharing solutions

The COVID-19 crisis has stimulated city cooperation and information exchange across borders. Local leaders preparing for the economic recovery after the crisis will need to “build back better,” as urged by the U.N. Secretary-General. From housing to infrastructure, urban security, and education, local decisionmakers will need to make choices and innovate. The common language of the SDGs may help cities share their local challenges and best practices with their peers, both at the international level as well as with cities within their country.

“It is important for cities to talk to each other about the different phases of SDG implementation because there is not one right way to do this.” – Alex Hiniker, Executive Fellow for Sustainability Initiatives, Carnegie Mellon University

2. SDG data helps mobilize action

Recovery from COVID-19 will require addressing multiple dimensions of development. The SDGs encourage cities to identify the priorities they’d like to achieve by 2030 and accurately measure their progress. Doing this can help attract attention and partnerships from local stakeholders. This focus on outcomes also encourages evidence-based policymaking—cities assess where, or to which populations, they need to target policy or mobilize more action and resources. Economic recovery after the COVID-19 crisis increases the need for locally-targeted policies that support the most marginalized communities.

“The SDG dashboard enables us to pose questions out to citizen-led data gathering groups who can help us crowdsource publicly available datasets to create new measures or new indicators within the SDG framework that are particularly relevant to LA” – Erin Bromaghim, Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of International Affairs

3. Reporting progress on the SDGs demonstrates vision and impact

Cities are exhibiting leadership through the growing movement to report their progress on the SDGs with a Voluntary Local Review. Cities have used VLRs to articulate a vision for sustainable development that integrates a city’s various strategies, plans, priorities, and directives into one coherent package. Once they emerge from the acute response to COVID-19, cities will benefit from creating a cohesive narrative on their recovery that mobilizes efforts across sectors and reports progress toward rebuilding local economies better.

 “The Voluntary Local Review is a process to get to a city strategic report and then find a space to put it into the international level.” - Beryl Mphakathi, Deputy City Manager for Human Settlements, Engineering and Transport, Durban (Ethekwini Municipality)

4. The SDGs serve as leverage for financing and partnerships

Addressing the complex local challenges stemming from COVID-19 warrants a deep rethinking of municipal policies, financing mechanisms, and governance practices. Some cities have used the SDGs to shift local procurement practices to reflect their focus on meeting social needs. Some have aligned their budgeting process to ensure that every expenditure gets the city closer to its SDG goals. Investors and development funders are also paying closer attention to impact opportunities that the SDGs provide at the local level.

“The mapping of our local government program to the global agenda is giving the possibility of engaging into a dialogue with a larger set of partners, most importantly, private investors.” - Diana Alarcón González, Chief Advisor, and Foreign Affairs Coordinator, Mexico City Government

Full Article with Videos: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/up-front/2020/04/29/how-the-sustainable-development-goals-can-help-cities-focus-covid-19-recovery-on-inclusion-equity-and-sustainability/

Image by Eugen Visan from Pixabay 

Volunteers as Essential Community Heroes: the Role of Volunteering in driving action on Covid-19 and the SDGs
27 June 2020 - Volunteer Groups Alliance: We will focus on the critical role that volunteers have played across the world delivering the SDGs and helping build stronger, more resilient, and inclusive communities for the final decade of action.

Given the current context of Covid-19, we will include case studies demonstrating how volunteers have played a key role in responding to the pandemic. Governments and institutional partners will share evidence of how volunteers have supported the Covid-19 response, through mobilisation of community health workers, promoting responsible public health messaging, combating fake news, and supporting marginalised children’s access to education, as well as accountability of delivering the SDG agenda.

When: Jul 7, 2020 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Topic: Volunteer Groups Alliance Side Event to the UN High-Level Political Forum 2020

Register for the Event Here: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/index.php?page=view&type=20000&nr=6942&menu=2993

Leadership in Cities amidst COVID-19
27 June 2020 - The prestigious Pritzker Forum on Global Cities, co-organized by the Chicago Council on Foreign Affairs and the Financial Times, was cancelled this year due to the pandemic. They asked leading experts from around the world, including the Executive Director of UN-Habitat Maimunah Mohd Sharif, to join them in putting together a video on the important role of city leadership.