Helsinki’s second local sustainable development report available online

The City of Helsinki has submitted its second Voluntary Local Review (VLR) on the Agenda 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) to the United Nations. This time the review was published in the form of a website in order to include more examples of and linkages to concrete actions the City has taken to advance sustainable development, reports The report can be accessed at the address

Mayor of Helsinki Jan Vapaavuori said: “Helsinki is doing well on many of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and we have ambitious targets. That said, there is still much to do, and one of the key challenges is ecological sustainability – we must be able to examine global impacts and our planet’s capacity. In addition, the extraordinary circumstances and financial stress brought about by the COVID-19 crisis have strained Helsinki residents across all population groups. The pandemic has brought polarisation and inequality into starker relief. Persistent monitoring and studies are required to determine how various recovery measures come together in the short and long term”.

Helsinki’s second sustainable development report focuses on actions as well as highlighting successes and development needs. Thanks to the contribution of the City’s divisions and enterprises, the report is a collection of dozens of stories and examples of sustainable development efforts.

City of Helsinki is one of the cities that started this movement. Recently subnational and local governments have become increasingly active not only in the delivery of the actions, but also in reporting the outcomes. Helsinki was the second city in the world after New York to submit a VLR report to the UN in 2019. At that time, only a few cities from around the world were involved. Now, two years down the road, almost 200 cities have joined the VLR movement, and many Non-governmental Organisations (NGO’s) are supporting the efforts.

”The step taken by a few pioneering cities has turned into a global movement, and both New York and Helsinki played a critical role in its formation. This year, for the first time, VLR reports will receive an official section in the High Level Political Forum and will be considered by member states. This is an important step in acknowledging the role of local administration. The goals of Agenda 2030 can never be achieved without the local level. Increasing the role of cities within the UN has been one of the most important goals of our efforts”, mayor Vapaavuori stated.

The goal of the City of Helsinki is to inspire other cities to get involved in promoting sustainable development and to share its solutions openly so that others can benefit from them.

“Most of all, we want to inspire and support all local residents, businesses and other parties to work together to make Helsinki a sustainable city and the world a place where the Agenda 2030 goals can become a reality. There is much to do and little time, so every step counts”, Mayor Vapaavuori concluded.

Photo credit Tapio Haaja/Unsplash