Published 2020-11-11

This post is also available in Swedish

Agenda 2030: international knowledge and inspiration

Much of the work for Agenda 2030 and the global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) needs to take place at local level. Take the chance to be inspired by work in other cities, experience of complex problems and how a post-coronavirus recovery can be inclusive, sustainable and job-creating. Here, we list the sessions that Mistra held jointly with the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida) and Mistra Urban Futures during Goal 11 Week.

Imagining Post COVID-19 Cities in Africa: Edgar Pieterse

Professor Edgar Pieterse of the University of Cape Town heads the African Centre for Cities in South Africa. He has been involved in the Mistra Urban Futures research programme, investigating urbanisation in the Global South. Pieterse has written about how a post-coronavirus recovery must be inclusive, sustainable and job-creating. (In English.)

Agenda 2030 at local level: what other cities do

Between 2014 and 2019, Mistra Urban Futures led several comparative studies of efforts by seven cities around the world to achieve the SDGs. Five factors emerged as especially significant: management and political governance, relevant stakeholders, demarcation of urban areas, target prioritisation and progress measures. The forthcoming session will enhance attendees’ understanding of how to adapt the SDGs to local conditions and use other cities’ experience in one’s own work. The importance of co-creating this knowledge with other stakeholders, thereby making the work more relevant and effective, will also be explained.

The moderators are Sandra Valencia, a researcher at the Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development (GMV); Barry Ness, Associate Professor and Senior Lecturer at Lund University; and Sara Pettersson, Urban Development Officer at the Climate and Environment Planning Unit of the City of Gothenburg. (In Swedish.)

Society’s thorny problems and how to develop practice and research to solve them jointly

When stakeholders with varying knowledge, backgrounds and ethical frameworks have to cooperate to jointly create new knowledge, challenges arise. Merritt Polk, a professor and head of department at the University of Gothenburg, and Henrietta Palmer, Mistra Urban Futures’ former Deputy Scientific Director, shared their experience of working in a cross-border educational programme. In it, participants from the public, private and civil sectors, along with doctoral students, explored problems and challenges, and methods of tackling them. (In Swedish.)

In October, Goal 11 Week was held by Sweden’s national Sustainable Spatial Planning research programme and the Council for Sustainable Cities, which comprises 18 organisations altogether.

From 2010 to 2019, Mistra Urban Futures was an international research and knowledge centre for sustainable urban development. When funding from Mistra and Sida came to an end, the centre was transformed into two initiatives: the Centre for Sustainable Urban Futures (at both Chalmers University of Technology and the University of Gothenburg’s Centre for Sustainable Development, GMV) and Global Sustainable Futures (GSF), which integrates the international efforts.