This discussion with input from cities will look at how cities partner with their urban stakeholders and each other to effectively lead implementation of the SDGs at the local level.

In cities across the world, a movement is growing for integrated sustainable development approaches—those that bring considerations for nature, equity, circularity, resilience and more into the city planning process. The United Nations’ 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) offer one framework for ensuring integrated approaches. Since New York City released the world’s first Voluntary Local Review of the SDGs, or VLR, in 2018, dozens of cities have signed the NYC Declaration and begun issuing their city-level contribution to the Global Goals.

Join the Connected Cities Lab at University of Melbourne during this Plenary Session of the 2021 UN & Australia Sustainable Partnerships Forum for a discussion on the SDG Cities Challenge, a city-to-city cohort learn-do model that is scaling SDGs local adoption through international city-to-city collaboration. We will be joined by representatives from City of Melbourne, City of Newcastle and Dehradun City India to learn how these cities are putting the SDGs to advance urban sustainable development; and hear an update from ICLEI Oceania regarding the 2021 SDGs Cities Challenge.

Session Hosts

University of Melbourne Enterprise Senior Fellow in Informed Cities, Dr Cathy Oke
Cathy has considerable international and local expertise in sustainable, resilient and liveable cities. Cathy’s research interests focus on the interaction between urban research, policy and practice for greater impact in cities. She is project leader of the SDGs Cities Challenge, and Senior Advisor to the Innovate4Cities program of the Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate and Energy. Cathy is the First Vice President of Local Government’s for Sustainability (ICLEI) and is currently the Chair of the ICLEI World Secretariat Board and co-chair of the Cities With Nature Knowledge & Research Hub.

Dr Alexei Trundle, Research Fellow in Sustainable Urban Development, Connected Cities Lab
Alexei’s current research focuses on the way that cities are contributing to the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, as well as urban climate resilience and adaptation planning in Pacific Small Island Developing States. Alexei is a Scientific Advisor to the UN-Habitat Cities and Climate Change Initiative in the Pacific region and was previously a Visiting Scientist at the United Nations University in Bonn, Germany.