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.

Three decades of local action towards urban sustainability: ICLEI at 30

On September 5, 1990, local government officials representing 200 cities from 43 nations gathered at the United Nations in New York. These mayors, council persons, and city staff from locales as distant from each other as the United States, Ivory Coast, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Finland and the Soviet Union, brought with them the resolve that, 

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ICLEI at 30: An interview with Rodrigo Perpétuo, Executive Secretary of ICLEI South America

New York, September 1990. During the 1st World Congress of Local Governments for a Sustainable Future, at the headquarters of the United Nations, 200 local governments from 43 countries founded the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives. In 2003, the organization was renamed ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability. In September 2020, ICLEI is celebrating 

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A blueprint to enhance United Nations collaboration with local and regional governments

The United Nations is celebrating its 75th anniversary in 2020, under the shadows of a once-in-a-century pandemic, serious challenges to multilateralism, and life-threatening climate and biodiversity emergencies. Due to the global pandemic, these celebrations will be taking place online, but the virtual forum by no means reduces the significance of processes and decisions that will 

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What to watch this year at UN75

The last two weeks of September is the time when the United Nations General Assembly meets to adopt the agenda of the coming year and Heads of States and Governments convene for a general dialogue and UN Summits. In 2020, all events will be held virtually and the two feature moments will be the celebrations 

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Clean air – time to celebrate or accelerate?

Authors: Maryke van Staden, Director of carbonn Climate Center and Felix Akrofi-Atitianti, Integrated Climate Action Officer, ICLEI World Secretariat As we celebrate the first International Day of Clean Air for blue skies on 7 September 2020, it is time to reflect. How big a problem is air pollution today? What is happening to reduce harmful 

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Pittsburgh’s fight for clean air, water and growth

Pittsburgh has become the poster child for how to transition from highly impacted industrial town to a healthy and vibrant community. A city that has gone from having air quality and smog so bad that they had to leave the streetlights on 24 hours a day, to an area that has created more cleantech and 

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Collaboration cultivates innovation: How ICLEI Africa and the City of Cape Town have been pioneering local sustainability action for two decades

In its 30 years of urban sustainability work, ICLEI has partnered closely with many of the world’s cities to form long-standing, mutually supportive relationships. The relationship between the City of Cape Town and ICLEI Africa is a key example. The City’s Executive Director of Spatial Planning and Environment, Mr Osman Asmal, reflects. The City of 

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Radical redesign for a circular economy: An interview with Circular Development Head Burcu Tuncer

Cities are complex systems in and of themselves, and in today’s globalized economy, cities around the world are closely intertwined through global production processes and consumption patterns. In the face of the climate and environmental crises that have pushed the earth to its limit, circularity is a critical tool to improve resource efficiency. For more 

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Why climate neutrality needs circularity

“How we make and use products and how we produce food generates almost half of the emissions in our current economic system because the production of goods and infrastructure generates emissions all along value chains,” said Mayor Minna Arve of Turku, Finland, at ICLEI’s July Race-to-Zero dialogue, which brought together many levels of government to reflect on 

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Five cities shift from industry to equity

Industrial legacy cities have been significantly impacted by the decline of manufacturing, which left them with soaring unemployment, rapid population loss and a legacy of environmental pollution. In the face of these challenges, city governments have been working to advance their economic and environmental transitions while embracing their industrial heritage and spearheading ambitious sustainability efforts. 

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