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.

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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ICLEI Members innovate for Earth Day 2020

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. For anyone skeptical of the adage attributed to the anthropologist Margaret Mead, we might point to a 54-year-old war veteran in Wisconsin whose thoughtful engagement led him all the way to creating the 

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Adopting and adapting sustainable approaches: China’s social and environmental transformation

By Matteo Bizzotto, Communications Officer, and Hannah Rothschild, City-Business Collaboration Officer China’s rapid industrial and economic growth has come at the cost of soaring carbon emissions and negative environmental impacts. However, after becoming the world’s largest annual emitter, the country is now working hard to ensure that natural resources are preserved and ecological balance is 

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Fire truck at the Bonn fire department

How COVID-19 is affecting the work of local government sustainability officers

Nontsundu Ndonga in uMhlathuze, South Africa, is now requiring all applications to the planning department to be completed online to eliminate the need for in-person consultations. Chris Castro in Orlando, Florida, USA, has had to postpone all of the city’s in-person Earth Day activities. Lotte Suveri, in Turku, Finland, has put all their social media 

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Advocacy and ICLEI events affected by COVID-19

Due to the COVID-19 crisis, many in-person events relating to local and regional governments and sustainability have been cancelled, postponed or in some way impacted. ICLEI is compiling a list of events affected by the pandemic that are relevant to our network. This list will be updated regularly based on the latest information available. All 

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