D3.1 Framework for Bold City Vision, Guidelines, and Incentive Schemes (SDG City Transition Framework)

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D3.1 Framework for Bold City Vision, Guidelines, and Incentive Schemes (SDG City Transition Framework), was submitted by Trondheim Kommune with contributions from LCCC, MP, MAI, SB, SMO, VORU, EAP and ISOCARP in April 2020. Following, the executive summary of the deliverable:

“The +CityxChange Bold City Vision (BCV) ​Framework, Guidelines and Incentive Schemes helps cities identify and address key opportunities and actions on their way towards becoming smarter and more sustainable. The framework incorporates the process of creating a city ​vision ​and ​goals ​that situate the actions aimed at creating Positive Energy Cities firmly within the cities’ overarching planning and management process. The focus on smart energy needs to be aligned with a broader concern with sustainable development, covering social, financial, technical, and urban aspects, and linking to the overall European Strategies for 2050 as well as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For this reason it carries the action-oriented subtitle ​SDG City Transition Framework​.

The role of cities is growing in importance with 68% of the world’s population estimated to live in cities by 2050, according to The 2018 Revision of the World Urbanization Prospects (United Nations, 2019). They are the engines of growth accounting for 80% GDP. However, main parts of our anthropogenic CO​2 emissions occur in cities, thus cities also present one of the sources of the greatest threat to the future of the planet. Managing the growth and development of our cities in a
sustainable manner is therefore critical to the future of the planet. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set out on a global scale targets for the future development of the planet. Cities have the most important role in meeting these targets; if they are to transition and meet these targets, we need to leverage smart and sustainable innovation.

The Bold City Vision Framework connects the global goals of the SDGs to local policy development with a strong emphasis on citizen engagement and citizen driven open innovation and business development. ​One important question still remains: ​How can cities prioritise their goals within the global framework of the SDGs in an open and participatory manner? ​Each city must align itself to the SDGs and establish its own priorities. In doing so the city must first review its current policy objectives and compare these to the outcomes of an evaluation of its own SDG performance and potential. The United for Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) KPIs afford cities the first 1 truly global set of KPIs for evaluating and monitoring progress, at the city level.

This first version of the Bold City Vision Framework has been developed by drawing on the combined insights of work done in +CityxChange Lighthouse Cities Limerick and Trondheim, as well as input from the Fellow Cities. The continued development of the framework will happen as Lighthouse and Follower Cities develop their respective Bold City Visions. The Framework comprises and ensures a continuous and iterative process, beyond the time period of the prevailing +CityxChange project period, to provide future, improved BCVs in cities. 

When structuring the Bold City Vision Framework, and in order to handle the inherent complexity of moving entire societies in a smarter and more sustainable direction (transition process), the Framework has been optimised to deal with the following questions:

  • How can cities maximise their ability to identify and share local high potential solutions to the rest of the city, and beyond, in order to meet their agreed goals? Cities are becoming increasingly aware that they are investing in large
    numbers of research and pilot initiatives that may lack both the ambition and the conditions conducive to large scale impact.
  • How can cities identify and connect to the financial, social and human capital needed to realise large scale socio-technical interventions. There is a risk that ambitions are scaled down to fit local constraints instead of creating
    opportunities to mobilise the resources needed to truly scale the solutions to match the SDG-related challenges facing the city.
  • How can cities best manage the complexity, and thus the opportunities, involved in SDG-planning and action? A fragmented approach could undermine both local impact and the potential for large scale innovation, productive
    partnerships and investments.

The dual purpose of this document is to present the Framework, as well as illustrate how the Framework itself opens a multitude of windows of opportunities to identify and share potential contributions that may add value to the transition process. Each process, and sub-process, offers an array of opportunities to plug in new ideas and solutions.

The Framework will be further developed in common learning processes with cities. For example, the municipality of Asker has, in cooperation with the City of Trondheim, already made a Norwegian edition which will also be used together with the Norwegian Association of Local and Regional Authorities to develop and make this available for all municipalities in Norway (Asker Municipality, 2019). This will again be input for the implementation of the Bold City Vision in the +CityxChange Lighthouse and Fellow cities.”

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