At the opening event of the Tallinn-led European Network of 19 Cities for Sustainable Development, the partner cities presented their plans on how to promote green mobility and curb car use and achieve other sustainable development goals of the UN.
The newly launched network aims to implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals at the local level. All in all, the goal of sustainable development is to eradicate poverty worldwide and ensure that people have dignity and good quality of life while respecting the natural environment.
Representatives of the participating cities met for the first time at the opening event of the virtual project organized by Tallinn.
"Tallinn has taken a turn towards a greener future. We want to be a green world city where the future has already begun. This is important for our people: gray and polluting cities are just not attractive, "said Mayor Mikhail Kõlvart in a greeting to all participating cities. "Nobody wants to live amid the noise and greenhouse gases. People want to live in a comfortable, soothing, and beautiful city. That is why we need to make sustainable living the most comfortable and vice versa: a resource-wasting lifestyle should become costly and inconvenient. ”
A development planning body headed by the city's strategy director has been established in Tallinn, which will, among other things, support the integration of sustainable development goals into the city's development. The Development Planning Board includes representatives of all city agencies at both the managerial and specialist levels.
At the opening event of the network, each participating city presented its strengths and challenges, based on the five strands of the SDGs: human dignity, the planet, prosperity, peace, and partnership. At the next meeting, the cities will present their experiences on how to implement sustainable development goals.
The Strategic Partnership project "Implementing Sustainable Development Goals in Cities - SDGs in Cities" helps to contribute to the goals of the European Union's Green Agreement by supporting sustainable urban development. Europe's goal is to become a climate-neutral continent by 2050, meaning that by then it will not emit more greenhouse gases than the ecosystem can sequester.
The partnership is funded through the European Regional Development Fund's URBACT III European Territorial Cooperation program, which aims to support cooperation and the exchange of know-how between cities.
The project, which runs from March this year until the end of next year, will create a local working group in each partner city, bringing together experts from both the city organization and outside. The working groups analyze and share the experiences and examples of good practices of the cities participating in the project in planning the implementation of the sustainable development goals, and draw up an action plan for the implementation of the sustainable development goals at the city level, using inclusive and creative methods.
In addition to Tallinn, the project also involves Braga (Portugal), Bratislava (Slovakia), Dzierżoniów (Poland), Glasgow (Great Britain), Gävle (Sweden), Heraklion (Greece), Jihlava (Czech Republic), Klaipeda (Lithuania), La Rochelle (France), Manresa (Spain), Mouscron (Belgium), Ozalj (Croatia), Reggio Emilia (Italy), Schiedam (Netherlands), Solingen (Germany), Veliki Preslav (Bulgaria), Veszprém (Hungary), and Trim (Ireland).
All in all, the goal of sustainable development is to eradicate poverty worldwide and ensure that people have dignity and good quality of life while respecting the natural environment.
The UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Goals are divided into three major areas: people, the environment, and the economy, including poverty eradication, gender equality, clean water, biodiversity protection, climate change, sustainable cities, and responsible growth and employment.
Life in Tallinn is planned to be greener in four areas: improving the energy efficiency and indoor climate of buildings, curbing car use and thus reducing greenhouse gas emissions, preserving and increasing biodiversity in the city, and supporting the transition to a more sustainable circular economy, including waste reduction and recycling.