Global Goals for Cities network met for a transnational meeting

Tallinn as the lead partner of Global Goals for Cities (GG4C) network presented to international partner cities their work on sustainability through the Tallinn 2035 strategy.

The very first live meeting since starting with the network cities was held at the beginning of April in Germany and was hosted by local city Solingen, in addition by Heraklion, Greece and by lead partner Tallinn, Estonia. 

The GG4C network period has multiple phases and as the network has completed the visioning phase, this meeting was dedicated to the next phase of action planning and implementation on governance, partnerships, and policy coherence levels.

Each host cities had a chance to perform in the meeting and completed their timeslot with very valuable lessons.

In Tallinn’s session (Sharing on Policy Coherence and Multi-level Governance) Maris Rahnu and Reet Nõmmoja presented Tallinn’s work on sustainability through the Tallinn 2035 strategy. The strategy has been developed in coherence with the Estonia 2035 national strategy and relates to sustainability as a holistic framework but does not yet make explicit links to the SDGs.  This is something that the team is addressing through the very same URBACT project.   

In the governance of the strategy, efforts are made to link strategic, financial, and all spatial planning. There is a strategy coordination board with leaders from all fields of activity in the city of Tallinn. At the coordination board, information is being shared and possible collaborations identified. Many of Tallinn’s internal URBACT local group members come from the strategy coordination board. To work with external stakeholders, a development committee is being set up as an extension of the ULG.  

The Tallinn team members also presented some good practice examples of participatory governance in Tallinn, including the Green Tiger Academy, participatory budget, as well as a new initiative called the Participation Hub, which aims to facilitate citizens' participation in the processes of urban design and thereby foster a meaningful discussion between the city, residents, urban professionals and developers. The innovative digital tools that will be set up in the space will allow complex urban planning processes to be addressed in a more inclusive and visually appealing way.    

In the workshop part of Tallinn’s session, the participants were asked to identify the governance mechanisms in their cities to work with sustainability, the challenges encountered and possible solutions.   

From the workshop results, it was clear that cities have different ways of coordinating sustainability work. For some, the starting point was to have annual reports on sustainability that brings different results across departments together. For others, these tasks are usually coordinated by one person/unit, and hence not contributing to holistic governance. Another group reported on sustainability as being an individual responsibility for the staff, while external partners help to engage with citizens, for example.    

Global Goals for Cities network is a strategic partnership for peer learning and planning of integrated actions to localise the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SGD-s). 

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals, adopted by all United Nations Member States in 2015 as a universal call of action to protect our planet, end poverty and ensure peace and prosperity for all by 2030. 

Global Goals for Cities is a pilot network and strategic partnership aimed at accelerating progress towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals in 19 cities of the EU, through peer learning and integrated action planning. The partnership is funded through the European Regional Development Fund's URBACT III European Territorial Cooperation program.