Opinions, ideas and knowledge you can apply to local and regional sustainable development.

Explore this blog to learn from local leaders, municipal staff and experts from around the world.

This World Environment Day, Amazonian cities remind us why preserving biodiversity is essential

By Rodrigo de Oliveira Perpetuo, Regional Director ICLEI South America Secretariat Read the original article in Portuguese. World Environment Day 2020 will be guided by the theme of biodiversity. Not by chance, the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) chose Colombia as the headquarters for World Environment Day activities. Considered one of the most environmentally diverse 

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Beethoven’s Pastoral Symphony is uniting artists and local governments to act for nature

Imagine being in nineteenth century Europe. Imagine walking on a city street and hearing people complain about the smell and dirty drinking water. Imagine coughing because of the dusty air. While we can only imagine that experience, German classical composer Ludwig van Beethoven saw the reality of pollution and environmental degradation by living, working and 

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What’s Happening on World Environment Day (5 June 2020)?

Recalling the legacy of the UN Conference on Human Environment held in Stockholm in 1972, the UN Environment Programme takes the lead in the celebrations of the World Environment Day annually on 5 June. This year, the theme of WED2020 is biodiversity – under the hashtag #TimeForNature. Colombia is the global host with the support 

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Local Governments Seek Participation in Nationally Determined Contributions

On the day that it was announced that COP26 will be postponed a full year because of the global COVID-19 pandemic, mayors, governors and national government representatives from around the world came together virtually to show how they are continuing to fight for climate action, even in the face of the global pandemic.  Twenty-five mayors 

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Natural asset maps provide local snapshots of urban biodiversity

Healthy and functioning natural ecosystems are critical for cities to thrive. Pressures from urbanization and climate change on the natural systems that sustain cities are increasing rapidly, making the protection of these urban natural assets all the more urgent. “The prosperity of cities critically relies on the ability of regional, city and municipal governments to 

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Confined but not confounded: Nature’s decisive role in cities during and beyond COVID-19

By Adel Strydom and Timothy Blatch During the global pandemic there are many unknowns, but in the midst of this uncertainty, city residents are reaffirming their need for nature. This World Biodiversity Day is a unique moment to reimagine nature-centric cities. In Durban a young mom walks along a brook that winds through an otherwise 

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“Hope in the City” tells a story of urban challenges and nature-based solutions

By Dana Vigran and Subuhi Parvez “Hope in the City” tells the story of Vikram and his daughter Anita who are just heading home from the movies when a tornado – a weather phenomena they have never seen before – comes out of nowhere. The devastation left by the tornado sets them off on a 

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The data gap: What we still don’t know about urban freight

By Himanshu Raj and Dana Vigran Have you ever thought about the entire journey of an item you order online or buy from a supermarket? Where it came from, how was it transported from the factory, what kind of vehicle was used, how many people were involved, how was it packaged, how many kilometers it 

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Helsinki Streetscape with a truck at sunrise

How Helsinki cut food transport emissions using sustainable procurement

The City of Helsinki’s Palvelukeskus Helsinki (Helsinki Service Center) provides food for over 100,000 people every day. Schools, daycare centers and nursing homes in different parts of the city all receive food from the Service Center, which is responsible for both producing and delivering food. The largest production plant is in Pakkala, Vantaa, which delivers 

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Restoring trust in public transport: the way forward

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the transport sector has experienced some of the most severe social and economic impacts. Public transport is keeping cities moving through the crisis, getting essential workers to their jobs and supporting essential services. However, this is high risk work for drivers and operators even as they step up 

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