Leadership for sustainable cities – Nordic Urban Ways

Sweden is relatively well-prepared to take on the the 2030 Agenda. The Nordic cities are world leaders in both poverty reduction and climate change. Can the Nordic cities also serve as good examples in a global context of sustainable urban development? In the project Leadership for sustainable cities – Nordic Urban ways, we examine how Nordic examples may contribute to new approaches with particular focus on SDG11 and the New Urban Agenda, which will be adopted at the UN Summit, Habitat III, in Quito in October.

Global Challenge is since many years collaborating with UN-Habitat on the project Leadership for Sustainable Cities. The result of the first phase was a global study Leadership for sustainable cities – an international outlook. The collaboration is now in its second phase with the project Nordic Urban Ways.

The project includes a study of a number of Nordic cities, with focus on the role of leadership for sustainable urban development. A number of Mayors, policy-makers and officials have been interviewed in order to understand the factors of success for cities working towards sustainability. In parallel, a number of policy dialogues with key actors within the field, have been held on themes linked to SDG11, such as housing, transport and civic participation. The project results in policy proposals for sustainable urban development with a focus on leadership. The findings are presented in the report Nordic Urban Ways – A Leadership Model for Sustainable Urban Development.

The project Nordic Urban Ways, intends to:

  • Give attention to the importance of cities as drivers for sustainable development by deepening the knowledge of initiatives, planning processes and systems developed in the Nordic cities that can serve as good examples;
  • Demonstrate how the Nordic model may contribute to efficient models for cooperation in urban development;
  • Create a platform for urban development and housing policy in order to develop concrete proposals for policy with broad application;
  • Forward-looking the study will result in exchanges between the participating Nordic cities and possibly a global partnership with cities identified in collaboration with UN-Habitat.

The findings summarised in the report were presented at the UN summit on sustainable cities, Habitat III, in Quito, 17-20 October 2016. The report will be presented to the Swedish government during a full-day conference in Stockholm 16 December 2016 in order to influence policy priorities.

Project manager is Elin Andersdotter Fabre,