17 GOALS TO TRANSFORM OUR WORLD
In 2015, the United Nations celebrated the seventieth anniversary of its founding. To the representatives of its member states, gathered at the Sustainable Development Summit in New York, this moment seemed appropriate for the adoption of a new plan for world development by 2030 (the 2030 AGENDA). Global sustainable development goals were developed at that time, with 169 tasks to be accomplished. At the same time, all member states were invited to take action to implement these projects.
The goals put forward by the United Nations are extremely ambitious and pose major challenges to cities. On the one hand, they are a continuation of the Millennium Development Goals, especially in areas that were not achieved at the time, and on the other hand they were prepared on the basis of the results of earlier public consultations, which involved many actors around the world whose voices revolved around the needs of the poorest and most vulnerable people. Last but not least, the goals were developed in accordance with international law and are based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, international human rights treaties, and other strategic documents.
- During the 11th World Urban Forum, we took part in the discussion on the problems of modern cities. The analysis of activities undertaken in Katowice on many levels, including social, economic and environmental levels, carried out in the light of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals developed by the United Nations, helped us identify areas that were worth discussing during the WUF11 – says Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice.
While preparing to be the host of WUF11, Katowice did not forget about its residents. The residents of Katowice were able to learn about the concepts of the World Urban Forum or the 17 Sustainable Development Goals during a campaign dedicated to them.
First, billboards appeared in the city, the content of which directed residents’ attention towards the development directions set by the UN. Next, an installation, decorated with green elements and made of recycled materials, was placed in Katowice’s market square to showcase the activities of the city. It was complemented by another, slightly smaller object, which is still available on the display window of the building at 13 Market Square St.
The campaign was also conducted on the Internet. The social media and this website contained information on further sustainable development goals, together with information on how Katowice addresses the challenges identified by the UN. Below you can read full analysis of the city’s activities.
In addition, each institution in the city that pursues specific sustainable development goals has received a dedicated label indicating its commitment to the activities identified by the UN as a priority in global development, which it pasted in a place visible to others. Interested parties may still receive the label by writing to firstname.lastname@example.org
In 2022, Katowice ranked fourth in the ranking of sustainable development of local government units. The ranking was conducted by Statistics Poland. It consisted of an analysis of indicators covering three areas of development: economic, social and environmental protection.
Katowice awarded for sustainable development
Katowice was honoured with a silver award in the category of cities over 400,000 daily population (this number includes permanent residents and daytime residents) at The International Awards for Liveable Communities LivCom Awards 2023. The final of the competition was held in Malta.
- When organising the World Urban Forum in Katowice, we focused on promoting the Sustainable Development Goals. We talked about them both during the debate and inside the Kato Urban Corner, as well as in other zones available throughout the city during the forum. These goals are also the basis of the city’s policy to counteract the effects of climate change or fight poverty. Our work has been recognised worldwide – as a result, we have been awarded a silver prize at The International Awards for Liveable Communities LivCom Awards 2023. However, we are not going to rest on our laurels. We are aware that the future of the next generations lies in our hands, hence the need to continue implementing the assumptions outlined by the goals – says Marcin Krupa, Mayor of Katowice.
LivCom Awards is a prestigious competition aimed at disseminating good practices and promoting innovative solutions in the field of implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals. The organisers are the LivCom Committee, the United Nations – United Nations Centre for Regional Development (UNCRD) as well as International Society of City and Regional Planners (ISOCARP). An important aspect of the competition is the exchange of experiences between cities and the creation of an international cooperation network. Every year, the communities that meet at the LivCom Award finals share best practices and experiences and join forces to face common challenges.
Qualifying our city for the finals of the competition is another sign of recognition by international experts for Katowice’s sustainable development policy, proving that a year after the World Urban Forum, the city is still developing its initiatives. This year, Katowice’s competitors included Abu Dhabi, the gold award winner, Xinyang (China), Eskişehir (Turkey), Davao (Philippines). It is worth mentioning that Katowice was not the only Polish city among the finalists of the competition - in the category of smaller cities with a daily population between 150 000 and 400 000 inhabitants, the gold award went to Gdynia, while in the category of environmental projects the bronze award went to Ostrów Wielkopolski.
- We started our efforts by preparing an extensive competition application, in which, according to the the organisers’ guidelines, we described in detail the solutions that we have implemented in our city in recent years – says Marta Chmielewska, Head of the Promotion Department. - The document covered areas such as environmental protection and the green economy, the revitalisation of the landscape and public spaces, social participation, and the management of culture, art and heritage. Already during the finals we were obliged to give a presentation about Katowice telling about sustainable development and the implementation of the SDGs with particular emphasis on applied solutions for the elderly. The leading theme of this year’s edition was active ageing – she adds.
The World Urban Forum
The World Urban Forum (WUF) is a prestigious international conference, organized by UN-Habitat for urban growth and human settlements. This is the most important global event concerning municipal policies, transformation and development. It is held every two years and hosts over 20 thousand participants representing governments, regions, cities, non-governmental organizations and financial institutions.
- “WUF11 was an excellent opportunity for Poland to demonstrate to the world community its own commitment to achieving a sustainable urban future. Katowice is a wonderful example of urban regeneration, and I hope we can build on these examples and leadership to share a wide range of global experience” - Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), said at a press conference.
The Katowice conference on 28 June 2022 saw the signing of the document entitled ''Action Plan for Cities. Model Locality.'' The sealing of a common vision for the sustainable development of 104 Polish cities took place through the symbolic signing of the document by local government representatives.
The long-term goal of the ''Action Plan for Cities'' (Polish: PDM – Plan Działań dla Miast) is to educate on how to conduct a sustainable urban policy and to initiate actions that transform cities into green, accessible and productive places.
Revitalization of the former coal mining area enabled the establishment of the Culture Zone – a unique space on the national scale. The new headquarters of the Silesian Museum, NOSPR (Polish National Radio Symphony Orchestra) and the International Congress Centre in the vicinity of the legendary "Saucer" bring prestige to the city, attracting both locals and tourists to its center.
Katowice is not only a city inhabited by approximately 300 thousand people but also the heart of Upper-Silesia and Zagłębie Metropolis, integrating 41 cities and municipalities, populated by more than 2 million people. The urban body created in July 2017 is an expression of joint commitment and concern for the welfare of the region, which offers a real opportunity for accelerated, dynamic development.
The region which is traditionally associated with coal mining and heavy industry gradually strives to become a leader in innovation and new technologies. These ambitions are reflected in the development of modern business sectors and sustainable investments.
CITY OF EVENTS
Katowice, as the host of many international events, is perfectly prepared to host large conferences. The state-of-the-art congress centre, well-developed hotel facilities and transport network are the characteristics that make the capital of the conurbation the city of business tourism.
The city with extensive experience in levelling the effects of long-term environmental degradation. Thanks to the efforts made, the quality of air, the condition of the environment as well as the standard of inhabitants’ life are clearly improving.
Three international airports (KTW and KRK, OSR), two motorways, national and regional roads, modern rail and public transportation make up an extensive transport network that provides the possibility to easily reach the city from almost every part of the country and the world.
Today’s Katowice, as the capital of a voivodeship with almost 5 million inhabitants and the first metropolis in Poland, is a dynamically developing city. The best evidence of this is the economic success achieved thanks to the skillful combination of the city rich heritage and modernity, becoming in the same time a creative and innovative centre built on the solid foundations of its industrial past.
WUF11 IN KATOWICE
Over half of the world's population lives in cities. While each city is unique, they face similar challenges, including pollution and the climate crisis.The exchange of ideas to address urban challenges such as improved housing basic services and green spaces is critical. The World Urban Forum, known as WUF, is the largest global gathering on sustainable urbanization.
World Urban Forum WUF11 took place in Katowice on 26-30.06.2022.