Venice City Solutions 2030 4th Edition

Thursday, 2 December, 2021 (All day) to Friday, 3 December, 2021 (All day)
Friday, 19 November, 2021


Venice City Solutions 2030 is a yearly event that focuses on how cities and local governments are contributing to making the Sustainable Development Goals a reality for all. Venice is not only an event; it is an all-year process that brings partners together to develop narratives on how local governments can better contribute to Agenda 2030. 

In this fourth edition, we want to gather innovative solutions that local governments and their partners are already experimenting with and bringing into our streets. How cities are getting inspired by the SDGs, turning around old ways of doing things, and engaging citizens into local action. This year’s concept wants to “go to the point”, by offering a platform to share with us what our partners are doing differently, how they are using SDGs as a tool to transform the city.

The COVID 19 crisis has given us many reasons to RETHINK. And we need to RETHINK the city, as a place in constant transformation, because innovation happens in cities. This year, we want to find responses to some of these questions:

  • How are the SDGs guiding the action of Mayors and city practitioners?
  • How is Agenda 2030 influencing city planning and budgeting?
  • How are SDGs changing the way local governments plan and deliver services?
  • Is Agenda 2030 helping cities to innovate, how, and where?

Using different and interactive methodologies, each session will answer a series of questions and set the debate where the participants will jointly elaborate key messages and recommendations. Each session will showcase specific local experiences that are contributing to implementing the SDGs at the local level, but also show how SDGs are also transforming the way we think and rethink the city.

This year's conference will feature:

  1. GREEN TRAIL – PLANNING: USING SDGs TO PLAN CITIES. More and more cities are starting to include SDGs in their management systems. Mayors are creating SDG offices as programmatic focal points to coordinate their plan of actions, linking Agenda 2030 to the political mandate and beyond. As SDGs start to be integrated as local deliverables, they infiltrate the administration, making the criteria linked to sustainability more difficult to eliminate when a political change happens. This session will bring two cities that have already established an “SDG Delivery Office” to tell us the details about how they are doing it.
  2. RED TRAIL – SHARING IDEALS: THE ROLE OF CULTURE TO LOCALIZE THE SDGS. Culture is directed linked to all aspects of our everyday lives, be it art, literature, science, politics, lifestyle, etc. Our culture reflects our traditions and beliefs, impacting not only our ways of interacting but also of coexisting. However, at the same time that cultural aspects can connect people and communities, it can lead to conflicts and increase social exclusion. That is why development policies guided by a cultural component can create a sense of belonging, drive participation, and promote inclusion. In this sense, culture goes hand in hand with the SDG localization process. It can act as a vehicle to build social cohesion by reinforcing the SDG localization narrative on how to shape public policies based on the 2030 Agenda principles. Culture can help cities to raise awareness, nurture dialogues and facilitate mutual understanding, as well as provide access to knowledge and capacity building. This can generate a common understanding and place people’s priorities and needs at the center of sustainable development so that the aspirations of the 2030 Agenda can be translated into reality at the local level. Moreover, it can lead to the implementation of public policies and services that are sensitive to participatory processes, and at the same time, ensure that no one is left behind, by integrating and empowering minorities and excluded groups.
  3. YELLOW TRAIL – TRANSFORMING: A NEW SUSTAINABLE MOBILITY. The industry of electric vehicles is suffering an authentic revolution. We are used to hearing about electric cars, but in developing contexts, e-bikes and electric tuk-tuks are taking the place of cars as an affordable alternative for many workers. We want to share the innovations coming from the developing world, where the future is increasingly electric. Also, many cities have grown around a river. Water is a very important part of Agenda 2030 and we feel we have not sufficiently brought the importance of water in municipal action. This session wants to see how cities are using their waterways to promote more sustainable and inclusive urban mobility. In a city like Venice, where all transport happens via water, they have a millennial experience, what is happening in other contexts and how can our city rivers contribute to Agenda 2030?
  4. BLUE TRAIL – INCLUDING: ADDRESSING INEQUALITIES IN THE CITY. Keynes and Co. used to talk about the role of the state to intervene in situations where the market was not working properly. The city is also an economic market where goods and services are exchanged within territorial borders. How are municipalities around the world are playing a role in this market? And how specifically are they using their action to promote equal opportunities? Many cities intervene in providing social services to those who are unable to pay for those services but also give an added value to the collectivity, by taking individual actions and creating value out of acting together.

Venice City Solutions is the sum of efforts by its organizers. Our Italian host is AICCRE, who also keeps the event alive and brings together all our partners in Venice. The event is also co-organized by United Cities and Local Governments, the major network of cities and two UN agencies: the United Nations Development Programme and UN-Habitat, together with the UN SDG Action Campaign, which promotes Agenda 2030 on behalf of the whole UN system.

Learn more about the 2021 sessions in the attached concept note and here: