Accelerating the SDGs: Aims
The overall aim of this three stage project is to help accelerate awareness and take-up of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA) worldwide among individuals and groups in the urban professions, education and civil society.
Stage 1, the ASK + learn City Maker Survey aims to discover how the SDGs are traveling among City Makers in these diverse groups around the world.
Stage 2, ACT + learn, encourages individuals and groups to actively engage with the SDGs through local projects that respond to one or more SDGs, with the aim of sharing knowledge and experience, and building global networks.
Stage 3, SHARE + learn aims to disseminate Stage 1 and 2 outcomes: through a dedicated website, at international and local events through webinars, exhibitions, publications and conferences.
2018, ASK + learn
Click to view City Maker Survey Working Paper
2019, ACT + learn
Click to view the Local Project Challenge gallery.
26 civil society projects; 35 education projects; 49 professional projects + 47 more fully developed projects
2019-20, SHARE + learn
Urban Thinker Campus: Accelerating the SDGs in Cities, November 13-14, 2019
Local Project Challenge Launch, November 13, 2019
World Urban Forum 10, February 8-13, 2020
Webinar presentations July 16, 2020; August 10, 2020
Accelerating the SDGs: Background and Rationale
The SDGS are the centerpiece of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (2015) and the New Urban Agenda (2016) the world has a roadmap towards a more sustainable, equitable, and better designed future.
Accelerating the SDGs began to take shape at UN Habitat’s World Urban Forum on ‘Implementing the SDGs’ ( Kuala Lumpur, 2018). It builds on the participatory design and planning principles of Global Studio (2005-2012) and the knowledge sharing approaches of People Building Better Cities (2013-2015). View project summaries. The various stages of this project employs action research approaches, and engagement with individual and groups in the urban professions, education and civil society. Depending on final project outcomes, and the potential for new partnerships, strategies for scaling up locally and globally will be considered.
Post script: Since commencing the project, Covid 19 has exposed social, health, economic and climate inequalities that disproportionately impact people of color and minorities, especially in cities. Goal 11 (make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable) along with many of the 17 SDGs offer a vital plank that can help address these inequalities and guide policy and action holistically in cities and towns.
Project director: Anna Rubbo, Center for Sustainable Urban Development (CSUD), The Earth Institute, Columbia University. With Elliott Sclar and Jacqueline Klopp (CSUD), Geeta Mehta, GSAPP, Columbia University and Asia Initiatives | Vera Regina Tangari , Faculty of Architecture, Federal University, Rio de Janeiro.
International associates : Jennifer van den Bussche, South Africa | William Chan, Australia | Bruno Mendonca, Brazil | Devangi Ramakrishnan, India | Silvia Vercher, Spain.
Earth Institute interns: Amanda Abrom, USA | Elaine Angeles, Philippines | Diego Deleersnyder, Argentina | Jade Watkins, USA.