Sustainable Development Goal 11 ‘Make Cities Inclusive, Safe, Resilient, and Sustainable’ provides guidance to sustainable urban development across 17 goals. Establishment of the ‘New Urban Agenda’ recognised the role of cities in pursuing sustainable development. Both global agendas share a common value and guide to achieving sustainability. However, ‘sustainability’ lies in the hand of the beholder. It is subject to local context, considerably influenced by current or past issues rather than future outlook. Interrelated decisions and actions taken in the past entail years to fully show their effects on each other.
With mandates to strive for sustainable cities, government officials are charged to go through the process of forecasting, analysing, and budgeting following the applied planning system. By design, planners and executors will ‘zoom-in’, focus on snapshots of isolated parts defined by tasks and responsibilities and continuously replicate them without revisiting the whole pattern of development. City decision-makers are strictly following a reporting framework that reflects ‘zoom-in’ results. Many have lost in the details complexity. City decision-makers need to be guided to see how major functions interact and drive the dynamics of a city development. A ‘zoom out’, to see co-benefits of resolving two or three issues, to see from a wider perspective, is needs to be revisited.
In this session, participants will learn lessons from and exchange knowledge with City Mayors of select Southeast Asian cities regarding their experiences in localising SDGs, with focus on goals 6 and 11, and practicing ‘zoom-out’ to see interrelated development actions.