You are here

The Global Goals for Cities network connects with Europe and the world in a push to accelerate delivery of the SDGs

Edited on

22 July 2022
Read time: 3 minutes

June and July 2022 were two eventful months for the Global Goals for Cities network! Not only was Global Goal for Cities part of the URBACT Festival organised in greater Paris (FR), we also had the chance to be at the Eurocities annual conference in Espoo (FI) and the World Urban Forum in Katowice (PL). In addition, some important political events marked our calendars.

Raising the profile of SDG work in Europe


On 9 June 2022, Lead Partner representative Krista Kampus from Tallinn (EE) was in Espoo in Finland to participate in a networking event on the SDGs part of the Eurocities Annual conference. Linked to the event, a number of different city networks joined forced in a call to the Eurocities on Strengthening Cooperation and Cocreation with European cities in the Context of Sustainable Development Goals and Voluntary Local Reviews. In the call, our URBACT Global Goals For Cities network, Nordregio SDG work and SDG46 (a network composed of the six largest Finnish cities), call for revitalisation of the SDG work within the Eurocities. More explicitly, together we propose that Eurocities:

  • provides a platform to facilitate exchange of experience;
  • joins forces to contribute and influence the implementation;
  • validates the recognition of the SDGs on EU level.

On 23 June, there were some further winds in the sails for SDG localisation in Europe, following the adoption of the European Parliament resolution on the implementation and delivery of the SDGs. The resolution highlights the importance of local governments and calls for a strengthened focus on the SDGs in the EU.

On 8 July, we were met with more positive news: the Mayor of our partner city Braga (PT), Mr Ricardo Rio, will keep playing an important role in heralding the role of local and regional governments in achieving the SDGs, namely as rapporteur for the opinion "Progress in the implementation of SDGs", which we wrote about around a year ago in our launching article.


Lead Expert Stina Heikkilä and URBACT SDG coordinator Céline Ethuin (to the left) together with Global Goals for Cities representatives during the URBACT Festival in Pantin, Greater Paris, 15 June 2022. In the background: the visual recording from the session, where Mouscron, Veszprém and Tallinn shared their experiences with SDG localisation.  


Accelerating action globally 


We also had the chance to connect beyond Europe during these busy months. At the 11th World Urban Forum in Katowice (PL), on 26-30 June 2022, representatives from the URBACT Global Goals for Cities network came together with local governments from around the world to focus on ‘Transforming Pour Cities for a Better Urban Future’.

On 28 June, as part of the WUF European Track, we proudly presented some of our network results in a panel featuring lead partner city Tallinn (EE), the network partners Jihlava (CZ) and Dzierzoniow (PL), as well as our Lighthouse city Espoo (FI).

We first gave an overview the GG4C network and then discussed some of the key opportunities and challenges involved in localising the SDGs based on the partners’ experiences, from the need to align global, national and local priorities, to working with stakeholders in the city to ensure local ownership of the 2030 Agenda. All panellists agreed that the SDGs help to connect cities around a shared language and helps peer learning around common challenges. Sometimes, it can sometimes feel lonely to try to change the world!

At the closing of our quite emotional panel discussion, participants were asked what they brought home one key word. The first work that came up was: hope.

We also had the chance to participate in other sessions, one organised by our partner organisation the Council of European Cities and Regions (CEMR), showing how we used the RRFSC tool in our network baseline activities, as well as a long presentation of our network methodology at the Association of Polish Cities and Municipalities’ stand.  

Closing word from the audience after our distinguished panel during the 11Th World Urban Forum in Katowice, Poland, 28 June 2022. From the left: Reet Nõmmoja, Lead Partner Coordinator, URBACT Global Goals for Cities, Tallinn, Estonia; Ville Taajamaa, 2030 Agenda Work, Espoo, Finland; Eva Nováková, city councillor in Jihlava, Czech Republic, responsible for the Housing First programme.; Aldo Vargas, URBACT National Point and supporting Global Goals for Cities partner city Dzierżoniów, Poland; Stina Heikkilä, Lead Expert, URBACT Global Goals for Cities.


In short, a great week full of opportunities to spread the work we are doing in Global Goals for Cities to a wide audience.


Presentation of the URBACT Global Goals for Cities at the Association of Polish Cities and Municipalities’ stand.


Coming up: Global Goals for Cities Manresa and meeting in Braga


After the summer, on 22-23 September, Global Goals for Cities partners will have a further chance to connect with other cities outside the network around the topic of SDG localisation. 

Our partner city Manresa (ES) is part of organising and hosting a URBACT face-to-face event, linked to the localization of global agendas and, especially, of the SDGs.

The event is organized by the URBACT National Point Spain and the City Council of Manresa, in collaboration with the International Relations Department of the Barcelona Provincial Council. It will address the localization of the global agendas and the SDGs covering the international, national, regional and local spheres. It will be held at the Fundació Universitària del Bages.

Find out more here and why not join us in Manresa?

The week after, the Global Goals for Cities network is meeting in Braga (PT) for its 8th transnational meeting. This time, we will talk about how to report on SDG achievements through Voluntary Local Reviews.

Onwards, SDG champions! 




Join us in Manresa (ES)!