UNECE, Trondheim Establish Centre of Excellence to Promote SDGs at Local Level
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The Trondheim Centre will support the UN’s work to evaluate cities and report on smart sustainable development at the local level in Norway.

The Geneva UN Charter Centre of Excellence on SDG City Transition in Trondheim is the fifth Centre created by the UNECE.

3 October 2019: The UN Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the Norwegian City of Trondheim have agreed to establish the fifth Geneva UN Charter Centre of Excellence to advance sustainable urban development.

The Geneva UN Charter on Sustainable Housing supports member States in ensuring access to decent, adequate, affordable and healthy housing for all. The Geneva UN Charter Centre of Excellence on SDG City Transition in Trondheim joins other Geneva UN Charter Centres in Tirana (Albania), Vienna (Austria), Tallinn (Estonia) and Glasgow (UK), making it the fifth Centre to be created by UNECE. The Centres support the Charter’s implementation through training, studies, awareness raising and projects to improve the quality of life in cities.

In a ceremony marking the Centre’s establishment as part of UNECE’s Sustainable Cities Week 2019, which convened from 1-4 October in Geneva, Switzerland, UNECE Executive Secretary Olga Algayerova emphasized the importance of localizing the SDGs at the city level and said, “cities must play a front seat role” in realizing the SDGs.

Cities must play a front seat role in realizing the SDGs.

The Trondheim Centre will, among other things:

  • support the UN’s work to evaluate cities and report on smart sustainable development at the local level in Norway using key performance indicators developed and managed by the UN under the United 4 Smart Sustainable Cities (U4SSC) umbrella that are used by over 50 cities worldwide and cover internet access to e-Government, electricity supply and traffic monitoring, among others;
  • continue developing and testing the SDG City Transition Framework as a knowledge-based approach to structuring smart sustainable development at the local level;
  • help establish a national project on smart sustainable development, incorporating the SDG City Transition Framework into the project design;
  • promote the exchange of best practices as part of a National Network of Excellence on smart sustainable development;
  • ensure knowledge transfer and strengthen capacity to develop and implement policies to improve quality of life and efficiency of urban operations; and
  • support achievement of the SDGs at the city level.

The Trondheim Centre builds on the SDG City Transition Frameworks developed and tested as part of the ‘University City 3.0,’ a cross-sectoral and multi-stakeholder approach to smart sustainable development in cities and communities developed by Trondheim and the Norwegian University of Technology and Science, with other national and international partners.

The Transition Centre will work with the U4SSC initiative, developed by UNECE, the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) in collaboration with 13 other UN agencies. U4SSC evaluates the potential for smart sustainable development in cities and communities, and connects local needs to a global knowledge hub, solution providers and funding opportunities. [UNECE Press Release] [UNECE Sustainable and Smart Cities Webpage]


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