Background: The Bristol SDG Alliance grew out of a series of local-to-global events including during Big Green Week in June 2016. It brings together a range of organisations and individuals to raise awareness of the SDGs and its use as a framework for the city's future sustainable and resilient development and enabling it to monitor its own progress.
The SDGs were launched in late 2015 and during this year UNDP / UN Habitat produced a toolkit for localising them at sub-national level. Yet little has happened at city level in the UK, in contrast with cities in some other EU member states and beyond. During 2016, a change of Mayor and administration has taken place with a new emphasis on equalities and economic opportunity whilst trying to build on progress relating to the environment and green issues. At the same time, a Resilience Strategy with a 50-year time horizon has been prepared for the city. The city is also in need of new ways to maintain and strengthen its international connections in the wake of the national vote to leave the EU, despite a majority in Bristol voting to remain.
The SDGs are universal and so offer a chance to link local development priorities with a global framework and offer a mechanism to anchor Bristol’s international engagement. They also offer another contribution to reinforce long-term planning over multiple electoral cycles. They are also holistic and so offer a way to bring objectives concerning equalities and economic opportunity with environmental concerns under a single umbrella. The SDGs also offer a potential framework for detailed monitoring and evaluation. Bristol can be a beacon for the use of the SDGs at a sub-national level within the UK
To encourage the adoption and practical use of the SDGs to guide Bristol’s future sustainable development, the South West International Development Network (SWIDN) has joined with a group of similarly-minded stakeholders in the city to form the Bristol SDG Alliance. The Alliance’s objectives are to use the SDGs to:
- drive the policy framework for long-term city-region development and resilience;
- monitor progress and enable the city-region to hold itself to account; and
- clearly connect community and city-level action to national and global challenges.