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Local 2030 Hub Partner WWF in Pakistan

In Karachi, the largest cosmopolitan city in Pakistan, communities in the peri-urban areas rely on mangroves and other forest trees for fuel to use at home. Burning wood for fuel, however, is unsustainable and negatively affects human and environmental health. Furthermore, mangrove forests are an important contributor to climate resilience. 

For three years, communities in Gadap Town, Maripur and Rehri, worked together with Karachi Metropolitan Corporation, WWF, and the electricity supply company, K-Electric, to provide clean and renewable energy solutions. The transition to clean and renewable energy involved in-depth community engagement to install solar energy systems, fuel efficient stoves and gasifiers in 2,561 households.

A total of 89 residents, including 43 women, have started new livelihood activities associated with the maintenance of biogas, solar gas and fuel-efficient stoves in their communities. Women have reported having more time to spend on income generating activities because renewable energy is more efficient than traditional firewood fuel.

The transition has brought positive benefits for the environment. In Rehri, manure was previously disposed of in the Arabian Sea but is now processed for use in biogas plants, thereby reducing organic waste in the sea. 

In addition, local communities have planted 90,000 mangroves and 63,555 saplings of other native tree species to restore local landscapes. This will help strengthen climate resilience and improve local biodiversity

For more information about our Local2030 Hub partner WWF, click here.

For more information about WWFs report on SDG synergies , click here.

For more information about Global Utmaning’s Sweden Local2030 Hub, click here.


Hyresgästföreningen (Tenants association) is one of Sweden’s biggest popular movements. With their 540.000 member households they possess a resource of one million people being experts on living. As part of their philosophy, Hyresgästföreningen view their member households as a valuable resource and are happy to include them to participate in urban development processes. The sooner everybody participates – the better. Their work with sustainable urban development can be found in many different attributes and contexts. Hyresgästföreningen gladly participates as an important actor in societal development planning and processes.

Hyresgästföreningen’s Aims and Vision
Hyresgästföreningen believes in sustainable urban development and acts in accordance with that vision. It should be fun to live – this vision is applicable when planning all kinds of housing, businesses, services and meeting spaces. Hyresgästföreningen understands sustainable urban development as: Living cities and communities; Green structure and ‘blue areas’; Safe communities and cities; Diverse and attractive constructions. To achieve social sustainability, Hyresgästföreningen work in accordance with its own LITA-model (VISA in English) – Vivid, Inclusive, Safe and Attractive. By following the principle of LITA, positive outcomes related to economic and environmental sustainability will also emerge.

Social sustainability is achieved through ability to engage and influence in societal processes. It is of importance to capture the voice of the people and take into account and mirror the diversity of the society. Regardless of who you are and what your needs are, you have to be taken into account and be listened to. That will strengthen the possibilities to achieve sustainable development – according to the SDGs. Furthermore, environmental aspects also have to be taken into account in order to achieve sustainable urban planning. Green areas, vegetation and water presence are all important elements to the broader experience. Wildlife benefits from careful urban planning, people appreciate and want to live in such surroundings. By introducing ‘soft areas’, it will strengthen cities’ resilience by e.g. collecting rainwater or be adaptable to the effects deriving from climate change. It makes the city more resilient.

To plan cities after the LITA-model, we will create more sustainable, pleasant and attractive spaces for people to use. A well taken care of community sends out signals that people care about their local area and might even lead to a sense of being proud of living there. Some might view sustainable city planning as complication of an already complex process, however that is in fact the opposite. A sustainable approach provides framework and structure to urban planning, as well as enjoyment in planning the city together.

Study Circles on Sustainable Urban Development
Hyresgästföreningen has in cooperation with ABF Stockholm (Workers’ Educational Association) developed materials for study circles. The material is based on the LITA-model. Based on LITA’s four pillars, the purpose of the study circle is to discuss sustainable urban development. Participants will analyse the questions from their own neighborhood or occurring situations in their everyday life. The main goal is to give space for participants to discuss the questions based on their reality. Best practices in one neighborhood are not necessarily best practices when applied to another context. It is important to acknowledge those differences. It can be challenging visualising such nuances, still it is very rewarding and exciting in the end. The main idea of the study circles is to generate a forum where everyone can share their experiences and knowledge, while at the same time learn from each other. Democracy and participation are two pillar stones within the study circles, everybody should feel as if they have the opportunity to participate and contribute. This is what makes study circles a great working method to include citizens in the city planning process, as it is socially awarding, creative and promotes learning.

For more information about Hyresgästföreningen, click here.

For more information about Global Utmaning’s Sweden Local2030 Hub, click here.


WWF is the world’s leading independent conservation organization active in nearly 100 countries on six continents. Our mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature by:

  • conserving the world’s biological diversity
  • ensuring that the use of renewable natural resources is sustainable
  • promoting the reduction of pollution and wasteful consumption

Due to our wide reaching geographic and thematic approach to conservation, WWFs work is anchored in all three pillars of the sustainable development triangle: environmental, social and economic, enabling us to contribute to all 17 Sustainable Development Goals.

SDG 11 and 13: WWF is committed to increasing political leadership, public engagement and entrepreneurship to transform cities. Our aim is to support the creation and development of One Planet Cities around the globe – cities that enable all people to thrive and prosper while respecting the ecological limits of our one and only planet. 

WWF created the One Planet City Challenge  to highlight some of the world’s most ambitious and inspiring cities, and their innovative solutions to combating climate change and building resilience locally. Through this Challenge WWF aims to facilitate the sharing and replication of sustainable solutions in cities across the globe.

For more information about WWF, click here.

For more information about Global Utmaning’s Sweden Local2030 Hub, click here.

Photo: Chait Goli

Living Cities

Living Cities offers innovative solutions for inclusive, resilient and sustainable cities across the world. By working with the social aspects of urban development they want to create more inclusive and just urban spaces and alleviate differences in living conditions. Living cities work in partnership with communities, local governments, entrepreneurs, and civil society to develop cities for all within planetary boundaries. By supporting local governments, communities and community groups in planning and developing more inclusive and resilient urban areas, Living cities contributes to strengthening SDG 11. The work is located both in Sweden and in Asian, African and Latin American cities. Below follows a more detailed lists where Living cities are active:

Sweden: Stockholm, Botkyrka, Haninge, Tyresö, Malmö, Kramfors, Karlskrona, Visby.
Asia: Indonesia, Myanmar, India, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Lao.
Africa: Kenya, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia.
Latin America: Brazil, Colombia, Chile and Argentina.
Middle-East: Iraq and Turkey.

Living Cities top 10 tips for implementing Agenda 2030:

  • Plan with people.
  • Let actions be guided by strategy.
  • Let strategy be informed by a proper analysis of needs and opportunities.
  • Don’t forget the social aspects!
  • Think holistically and develop integrated solutions across sectors and stakeholders. 
  • Build on what is already there and work through existing structures.
  • Avoid project dependency.
  • Communicate!
  • Leadership matters!
  • Take action now – we don’t have time to wait.

    For more information about Living cities, click here.

    For more information about Global Utmaning’s Sweden Local2030 Hub, click here.

Arkitekter utan gränser Sverige – Architects sans frontieres (ASF)

ASF Sweden works for better access to safe, sustainable, equal and adequate development of the built environment for all – locally and globally. The purpose of ASF Sweden is to enable vulnerable communities access to architectural services, research and educational resources in order to increase their resilience and reduce vulnerability, discrimination and poverty. The goal is to create an environment that is safe, functional, and sustainable; provide spaces for the needs, desires and dreams; with consideration of local climate, resources, building techniques and materials. ASF contributes with professional support from architects, planners and other professionals. All projects are driven by a high level of participatory design together with local partners and in close collaboration with relevant groups and communities. Project evaluation and learning through exchange of experiences are essential qualities in all our projects.

Localizing SDGs – An inspiring example from Kingori, Tanzania
Econef is an independent non-governmental organization that aims to improve the standard of living for orphans in the Arusha area. The aim of the Children’s Center Project is to increase Econef’s independence and reduce its reliance on private donations. In accordance with ASF Sweden’s philosophy the new center is designed to be ecologically and economically sustainable and largely maintenance free. 

The children’s centre has solar panels to create electricity, rainwater harvesting systems to collect water, and a biogas plant to produce cooking gas for use in the kitchen. Surrounding the buildings are plantations that will be used to grow food for the children, as well as areas for livestock.

The project is a collaboration between Architects Without Borders, Engineers without borders, Swedish architecture studios Asante Architecture & Design and Lönnqvist Vanamo Architects for Econef. 


For more information about ASF Sweden and Econef, click here.

For more information about Global Utmaning’s Sweden Local2030 Hub, click here.

Glokala Sverige

Glokala Sverige is a collaborative project funded by Sweden’s government agency for development cooperation (Sida). Together, the United Nations Association in Sweden, Swedish Association for Local Authorities and Regions, and International Centre for Local Democracy cooperate in enhancing knowledge as well as commitment in Swedish municipalities and regions for Agenda 2030 and the Global Goals. Presently, 181 out of 310 Swedish municipalities have chosen to participate.

Agenda 2030 Awareness Raising
Glokala Sverige emphasizes the holistic character of the Agenda 2030 and the Global Goals. They aim at inspiring their target groups to consider working with all Global Goals in a systematic way. Glokala Sverige’s strategy is to support Swedish municipalities and regions in implementing Agenda 2030. Therefore, they carry out a customized training for each municipality and region in the project – on location when possible, otherwise digitally. Regional meetings are held with municipalities in the area in question, for exchange and sharing of knowledge, ideas and experience. The conference Mötesplats Agenda 2030 is launched each autumn, for participants of the project as well as authorities, researchers and partners. Educational and inspirational material such as films, workshop toolkits and e-learnings are accessible on their website.


For more information about Glokala Sverige, click here.

For more information about Global Utmaning’s Sweden Local2030 Hub, click here.

Brevvännerna / The Pen Pals

Brevvännerna is a Swedish NGO founded in 2018. By promoting contacts and exchange ideas between elementary- and high schools and organisations working with sustainable development, they see how pupils increase their understanding and motivation to participate in societal and sustainable development processes. They have identified a need for a plurality of actors to take the lead in introducing children and youths to the complex contemporary and future challenges we are facing today, and most importantly – invite them to become a part in finding the solutions. Brevvännerna act as a direct link between those sectors and coordinate contact and promote the exchange of ideas. They aim to widen their spectra by encouraging municipalities to use this method as a way to reach out to and include young people in the development and democratic processes.

Relation to SDG targets
Brevvännerna works more precisely towards SDG target 4.4 – ‘to substantially increase the number of youth and adults who have relevant skills, including technical and vocational skills, for employment, decent jobs and entrepreneurship’ and SDG target 4.7 – ‘To ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development’. Depending on the cooperation partners, Brevvännerna’s work can also cover other SDG goals.  

Relation to localizing SDGs – A practical example
Currently, Brevvännerna are working together with The Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm and the Institution of Electrical Engineering, to involve schools and pupils all over Sweden to contribute their ideas on how to develop the work with renewable energy sources. The pupils receive a letter from the professor at the university, which is forwarded from Brevvännernas website. The professor then asks the pupils for help to contribute their ideas on how to save energy or build solar panels on the school’s roof. In the Swedish city Lidköping, pupils got engaged with local companies and the municipality office to discuss how they collectively could save more energy in Lidköping.

Brevvännerna have identified following problems, which they are working on how to solve: 

  1. Social exclusion. 54 percent of youths experience social exclusion. Brevvännerna wants to fight this by involving pupils in important societal processes, where the pupils feel that their ideas are asked for and important to the surrounding society.
  2. Lack of knowledge of the labour market. 68 percent of youths addressed a lack of adequate information from the school, regarding the labour market. Brevvännerna wants to fight this by offering contacts with different sectors in the society, and widen the spectra of different kinds of professions that exist. 
  1. Sustainability. 67 percent of youths believe the climate crisis can be solved through cross-sectorial inclusive cooperation. Brevvännerna wants to involve young people in this work and make them a part of the solution.

Good practices & solutions
By spreading awareness of the cooperation organisations to pupils in elementary- and high school, it promotes collaboration with the future workforce. It is beneficial to the organisations, as they will get input of their work from younger generations. This collaborative method is in agreement with the curriculum for the compulsory and high school – to support teachers in teaching different subjects by offering students contacts with external actors that can enrich the students awareness and knowledge on how the organisation and the society works more actively for a sustainable development. 

Outcome & opportunities
Brevvännerna creates and improves better conditions for students to learn about the complexity of society, organisations’ initiatives for a sustainable development, as well as their own opportunities to contribute to and participate in democratic, social and sustainable development. In addition, pupils get informed about the different existing professions and their roles in the general labour market, which increases youths’ awareness of their own personal interests and possible directions for the future.

Lessons learned & recommendations
The solution to involve pupils in organisations’ development work is a successful and resource effective method for organisations to use. There is great potential to localize this method and deepen the cooperation with municipalities on how to reach out to, and involve, young citizens in developing important tasks in the municipality.

For more information about Brevvännerna, click here.

For more information about Global Utmaning’s Sweden Local2030 Hub, click here.

Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy (ICLD)

ICLD’s mission is to support democratic participation and change at the local level. With its focus on local democracy, local self-governance and decentralisation, ICLD strengthens local governments’ capacity to analyse, prioritise and implement Agenda 2030 in accordance with their own needs, priorities and resources. The unique combination of practice and theory is a major asset of ICLD. They work closely with Swedish Municipalities and Regions to address challenges in regards to the SDGs. ICLD provides funds and resources to implement SDG:s in partnership with a LDC Municipality with similar strains.

Here is one of ICLD’s ongoing municipal partnership between Växjö municipality in Sweden and An Giang province in Vietnam:

Learnings from Växjö-An Giang water development exchange project
Since 2010, An Giang province in Vietnam and Växjö municipality in Sweden have implemented several partnership projects on environmental issues. A few years back, they became aware of the mutual challenge that surface water is in abundance in both cities, yet is partially of lacking quality. A new project was therefore conceived where the partners would improve their capacity for sustainable water management, while invigorating their democratic processes to better include stakeholders in their planning. Municipal water and sanitation management is seldom top of mind in connection to democratic issues. However, these areas have a large impact on inhabitants every-day life, and therefore the democratic structures for inclusion and participation of inhabitants are important in these issues. The ICLD-funded project allowed for the water and sanitation officials in Växjö’s technical department to reflect on their own democratic processes in relation to their inhabitants.

The three-year project runs until 2021 and aims to, among other things, prepare an integrated water management plan for Long Xuyen-city in An Giang province. So far, the partners have held workshops with key-stakeholders and visited each other for education and field trips related to challenges facing the municipalities. Lectures on capacity building for public consultations with local residents have been held. Some participants have in addition taken part in workshops and case-challenges during an ICLD-training on the municipal partnership programme.

Växjö municipality in Sweden and An Giang province in Vietnam have inspired each other to new solutions through a partnership concerning water management. Their cooperation has led to improvements in the democratic processes and made staff in the water management departments reflect on how they contribute to local democracy. Already, the inspiration from An Giang has contributed to Växjö deciding to develop their own integrated water management plan. Through their partnership, Växjö and An Giang have already shown how processes for an inclusive democracy are important and how it relates to technical issues such as water and sanitation. The project has also shown how municipalities which stand far apart in specific technical solutions can learn from, and be inspired by, each other’s approaches on how to face a challenge, in order to generate mutual benefits in a municipal partnership. 

When working on technical issues, we seldom evaluate ourselves based on how we perform on issues such as participation and inclusion of citizens. But through ICLD, we have got to reflect on what our own democratic contribution in the municipality looks like. How are citizens included in the decision-making process, is the information we send out available to everyone and is our work transparent to the public? By raising those questions we can improve how we do things, says Ingrid Palmblad Örlander, coordinator and engineer at Växjö municipality.

For more information about An Giang and Växjö project, click here.

For more information about ICLD, click here.

For more information about Global Utmaning’s Sweden Local2030 Hub, click here.


About LightSwitch
LightSwitch are specialists in designing, leading and facilitating knowledge sharing and innovation processes to tackle complex sustainability challenges. They have developed a unique approach combining knowledge sharing and innovation to scale solutions to new contexts, which has been successfully applied both in the framework of global partnerships between countries on clean energy as well as in climate-related projects at municipal level in Sweden. SDG 17 and particularly target 17.6 ‘Knowledge sharing and cooperation for access to science, technology and innovation’, lies at the very heart of LightSwitch’s mission.

LightSwitch’s relation to localizing SDGs
LightSwitch is dedicated to catalysing planet-positive impact at all levels – from international policy development to concrete action at local level – through actionable knowledge sharing, co-creation and innovation. LightSwitch’s collaborative learning method is flexible and can be used to capitalise on existing knowledge and co-create new solutions suitable for implementation in virtually any context. It focuses on learning and capacity building for the participating individuals and organizations and takes into account key aspects related to leading change efforts for sustainability.

SDG 17.6 underpins LightSwitch’s efforts to deliver planet-positive impact. Since their knowledge sharing and innovation projects are primarily focused on accelerating the transition to a renewable energy system and other key areas of climate action their efforts also address the development of SDG 7.a ‘Promote access to research, technology in clean energy’ and 13.3 ‘Build knowledge and capacity to meet climate change’ on a local level. LightSwitch works extensively with municipalities on various sustainability-related themes and contributes therefore also to SDG 11 ‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’.

Municipality ‘Climate Leadership Programme’ in Sweden
Engaged by Fossil Free Sweden, LightSwitch has designed, led and facilitated a deep-dive collaborative learning process between six Swedish municipalities (Helsingborg, Umeå, Uppsala, Växjö, Örebro and Östersund) especially selected as pioneers in regard to public procurement as an instrument for climate action. The process supported the municipalities to identify and share knowledge and experiences with each other on both challenges and successful procurement methods and approaches. The process initiated Fossil Free Sweden’s Climate Leadership Programme on public procurement, which aims to find ways to radically reduce Swedish municipalities’ climate emissions through new innovative ways of using the public procurement instrument.

One of the most important tools for Swedish municipalities to significantly reduce climate emissions is through their public procurement of goods and services. Fossil Free Sweden set up the Climate Leadership Program to support municipalities to set tougher climate requirements in public procurement and to work in tandem with the businesses and sectors who have committed to becoming fossil free in Fossil Free Sweden’s sector roadmaps.

LightSwitch designed and facilitated a deep-dive learning and co-creation process, based on logic of the LightSwitch method, consisting of four full-day workshops and three interlinked home assignments. The method includes both elements of knowledge sharing and co-creation of new ideas, and is designed to enable the participants to take concrete action in terms of implementation of learnings in their respective organizations.

At the conclusion of the collaborative learning project the participating municipalities had developed and received constructive feedback on draft action plans to develop methods and approaches to move towards fossil free public procurement. The action plans were based on the learnings and new ideas developed during the process and were all customised to the unique contexts of each participating municipality.

LightSwitch’s relation to SDG targets
LightSwitch’s work relates to SDG targets:

17.6 – Knowledge sharing and cooperation for access to science, technology and innovation

17.17 – Encourage effective partnerships: Encourage and promote effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships, building on the experience and resourcing strategies of partnerships

13.3 – Build knowledge and capacity to meet climate change

12.7 – Promote public procurement practices that are sustainable, in accordance with national policies and priorities

11.6 – Reduce the environmental impacts of cities

For more information about Global Utmaning’s Sweden Local2030 Hub, click here.


About Nordregio
Nordregio is a leading Nordic research centre for sustainable regional development and planning, established by the Nordic Council of Ministers. They conduct applied research and Nordic-European knowledge exchange for policymakers and practitioners. Nordregio’s primary focus areas are: Sustainable rural development and aging population; Urban planning for green inclusive cities; Regional innovation, resilience and green transition; and Multi-level governance (regional reforms and strategies).

Webinar Series on Local SDG Implementation in the Nordics
In 2018/19, Nordregio published a report mapping Nordic frontrunners in SDG work at the local level and hosted a Nordic knowledge exchange on how to organize the Agenda 2030 work in regional and municipal authorities. As a follow-up, they just arranged a webinar series with six programmes on local implementation of certain SDGs (climate, digitalization/innovation, gender/inclusion, sustainable consumption and production, sustainable cities, plus monitoring and evaluation). Nordic municipalities and regions were invited to share and discuss good practice examples, solutions and remaining challenges in their work. The seminar series is available on Nordregio’s YouTube channel and was funded by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

For more information about Nordregio, click here.

For more information about Global Utmaning’s Sweden Local2030 Hub, click here.