The United Nations (UN) has announced its new strategy to better sustain and support cities and help them achieve their objectives. The Local 2030 Hub for Sustainability Solutions is looking to create global platforms that will provide city-to-city exchange of knowledge on data, finance and energy. These three fields are identified by the UN as the most crucial for robust cities.

Bringing together more than 24 UN agencies, Local 2030 is an action- and solution-oriented partnership between the UN system and governments, banks and other financial bodies, businesses, civic institutions, and NGOs. The strategy will encourage cities to establish their own local knowledge-exchange hubs to get their hands on expertise, funding and visibility, all of which should make it easier for cities to achieve their Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

This strategy does not only benefit cities – it also benefits the UN’s image as reflected onto poorer communities that only hear about the organization on the radio or TV but do not feel its impact on the ground. Local 2030 gives an ear to the complaints and concerns of citizens on the streets rather than their representatives in air conditioned halls. The action and solution-oriented strategy will act as a mediator between city hubs and the UN’s leadership in terms of keeping them informed of the data they have collected so they can work, discuss solutions and act accordingly. This will make the UN more relevant to low-income communities and residents of slums and other informal settlements.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina J. Mohammed is supervising the initiative. She says that Local 2030 will develop and incubate new solutions based on the needs of local communities. “It will help identify and solve bottlenecks that local governments face and help funding reach the communities that need it. And it will ensure that data gathered by people and for people truly captures the reality on the ground,” she adds.