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Based on the Voluntary Local Review, the City’s experts have brought up observations and measures through which Sustainable Development Goals could be achieved in Helsinki. For example, improvements must be made in the work to coordinate conflicting goals, and carbon neutrality measures must be increased.

Recommendations based on the results of the report:

  1. Helsinki should set more longer-term sustainability targets that go beyond the council term, as well as progress indicators and target values for its sustainability indicators.
  2. The understanding of sustainability issues and knowledge-based management must be developed at all levels, from strategic management to the provision of different services, for example by using the sustainability management tools of the six cities -network.
  3. The links between the Sustainable Development Goals should be better identified, and the most relevant strategic actions should be identified for more effective implementation as part of key processes, such as economic, operational, land-use and construction planning.
  4. Conflicting goals should be addressed more thoroughly, different impacts identified, and goals transparently reconciled, for example in relation to the growth of the city and the reconciliation of nature values.
  5. Effective implementation of sustainability goals and active monitoring of their achievement must be strengthened, and long-term thinking must be increased. Attention must also be paid to the effectiveness of measures and indicators at a more operational level.
  6. Helsinki should invest even more in promoting ecological sustainability and combating climate change and also pay attention to global impacts. Ecological impacts and planetary boundary conditions should be better integrated into the assessment and decision-making process.
  7. There should be clearer coordination between the many ecological sustainability programmes, for example through updating environmental policy and enhancing environmental management.
  8. Sustainable economy should be promoted in the long term by assessing lifecycle costs and investing in circular and sharing economy and preventive services.
  9. Local nature and the pleasantness of urban space should be invested in, and their diverse impacts on people’s health and wellbeing, the city’s attractiveness and biodiversity should be better identified and valued.
  10. A clearer integration of the equality and non-discrimination perspective into core functions, such as the different levels of economic and operational planning and the impact assessment of decisions, would be important.
  11. Cooperation with and the participation of residents, companies, research operators and the third sector should be further developed and made more effective in order to address sustainability issues.