Utrecht: Most inspiring Global Goals city

VNG International, the association of Dutch Municipalities, awarded Utrecht as the ‘Most inspiring Global Goals municipality’ in 2017. What makes Utrecht such an inspiring city in the Netherlands, and most importantly, why? An important factor that contributes to Utrecht being awarded this title is its thorough and continuous commitment to Healthy Urban Living for the following years. Partnership is the basis for this approach. A unique identity as such emerges from a series of horizontal partnerships sharing the same goals along the city.

Consequently, this local agenda comes down to Utrecht stakeholders being well determined and committed to the Sustainable Development Goals. Specific emphasis is also put on Global Goal 3, Good health and well-being as well as Global Goal 11, Sustainable Cities and communities. What makes Utrecht so inspiring then, is not only the capacity to involve many stakeholders, but also the horizontal nature and openness for collaborations with other authorities. Healthy Urban Living is not only a local agenda of policies and practices, it is rather the local lifestyle that most citizens and partners share and reflect.

Utrecht has managed to translate the Global Goals in the local arena by involving as many actors as possible. Various campaigns, NGOs, networks, knowledge institutions, bottom-up initiatives as well as coalitions at local, national and international levels come together to create a Global Goals movement. Such partnerships are at the core of Utrecht's approach towards the Sustainable Development Goals.

Utrecht4GlobalGoals, as an external partner that works together with the Municipality, is a foundation that aims to bring awareness and reach out as many citizens as possible. HEELUTRECHTU!  is a campaign through which U4GG strives for the visibility and emergence of existing important personalities and grassroots initiatives that are already working on sustainability. On the platform of this campaign, one can encounter significant personalities, innovative projects, festivals and knowledge institutions of Utrecht.

All these cases already contribute to the SDGs without being necessarily part of the larger movement U4GG, revealing that sustainability is in the DNA of every Utrechter. In other words, partnerships in Utrecht work as coalitions among residents, citizen initiatives, government authorities and the private sector aligning together for the sake of Global Goals.


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