Voluntary Local Review
The City of Mannheim published its first Voluntary Local Review in 2019. It is based on the city strategy, Mannheim 2030 Mission Statement. In the Mission Statement, the SDGs have been localized into seven overarching strategic goals that relate to the global goals. The structure of the VLR is based on those strategic goals, and describes which SDGs the strategic goal relates to. For each strategic goal, the VLR presents guidance for how Mannheim has worked – and will continue working – to achieve the goals. Key milestones for the strategic goals as well as specifically important aspects of that goal are also highlighted.
With its VLR, Mannheim wishes to demonstrate how a city can incorporate the SDGs in their daily work as well as work inclusively with the 2030 Agenda framework. The citizens were able to meet with sustainability experts and city employees in order to take part in the debates on the SDGs in general and the development of the VLR in particular.
The City of Mannheim is in the process of conducting their second VLR, which will be submitted in the summer of 2022.
Participatory processes in localizing the SDGs
As a way to include all parts of society in the process of localizing the SDGs, the City of Mannheim developed its strategy, the Mannheim 2030 Mission Statement, together with the civil society in a broad participation process. The participatory process spanned from 2017 until 2019 and resulted in 1500 proposals for the new Mission Statement. The proposals that were submitted were based on the question: “Taking into account the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals, what do we want life in our city to be like in 2030?”.
More than 2500 citizens participated actively when developing the Mission Statement. The City of Mannheim organized a so-called Urban Thinkers Campus, where 500 residents, together with international experts, discussed how the SDGs could be implemented and incorporated in the city. They facilitated workshops where citizens of Mannheim had the opportunity to discuss the SDGs and what was important to them with the mayor. An additional 10 000 citizens were involved through opinion polls and bigger events. The City of Mannheim disseminated surveys in order to collect ideas on how to implement the SDGs in the city. They used mass events like the May Fair as a way to reach the people: they requested input from the citizens on the SDGs. Furthermore, Mannheim engaged the community by putting out a photo box where they could get photographed with different SDGs and publish it on social media. With these events, Mannheim were able to communicate the SDGs to a wider audience.