A Territorial Approach to the Sustainable Development Goals

Synthesis report

image of A Territorial Approach to the Sustainable Development Goals

In the face of megatrends such as globalisation, climate and demographic change, digitalisation and urbanisation, many cities and regions are grappling with critical challenges to preserve social inclusion, foster economic growth and transition to the low carbon economy. The 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set the global agenda for the coming decade to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. A Territorial Approach to the Sustainable Development Goals argues that cities and regions play a critical role in this paradigm shift and need to embrace the full potential of the SDGs as a policy tool to improve people’s lives. The report estimates that at least 105 of the 169 SDG targets will not be reached without proper engagement of sub-national governments. It analyses how cities and regions are increasingly using the SDGs to design and implement their strategies, policies and plans; promote synergies across sectoral domains; and engage stakeholders in policy making. The report proposes an OECD localised indicator framework that measures the distance towards the SDGs for more than 600 regions and 600 cities in OECD and partner countries. The report concludes with a Checklist for Public Action to help policy makers implement a territorial approach to the SDGs.


The distance of regions and cities, by country, towards each of the 17 SDGs

By applying the OECD localised indicator framework for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to a set of headline indicators, 39 for regions and 25 for cities, this chapter assesses the distance of more than 1 000 regions and cities of OECD and selected partner countries towards each of the 17 SDGs. The structure of the chapter consists of a series of two-pagers for each of the 17 SDGs. Each two-pager provides a separate assessment for regions (first administrative tier of subnational government) and for cities (functional urban areas). Going beyond national averages, this framework allows identifying, by country, which regions and cities have achieved the end values for 2030 (of the available indicators) and which ones are lagging behind – and by how much. Consequently, this methodology also contributes to document the between- and within-country regional and city disparities in performance towards the SDGs.


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