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17 goals for Bonn

Bonn Mayor Katja Dörner explains the role that the SDGs play for the German UN city.  

AutorinMiriam Hoffmeyer , 13.09.2023
Bonn Mayor Katja Dörner
Bonn Mayor Katja Dörner © picture alliance / photothek

Katja Dörner has been the mayor ofBonn since 2020 and vice-president of the Association of German Cities since 2023. She explained to us what role the SDGs play for the UN city of Bonn.

“The SDGs are vital for Bonn, Germany’s UN city that now boasts 26 organisations of the United Nations. We adopted our own sustainability strategy in 2019 and are currently concentrating on four specific areas: the mobility transition, social justice, the digital transformation and our goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2035. In addition, we have begun setting up a sustainability budget to allow us to gradually gear our overall city budget more and more to sustainability criteria. In all these areas we work closely together with the highly active civil society we have here in Bonn and stage campaigns such as the Bonn SDG Days to raise the profile of the 17 SDGs in local society.   

SDGs bring about advances in cities 

Municipalities play a key role in implementing theSDGs: Without them, roughly two thirds of the sub-goals cannot be achieved, according to the OECD. This is also why Bonn, in 2020, was one of the world’s first cities to present a voluntary report on the implementation of the SDGs. As an international commitment to action, the SDGs have brought about a lot of advances in cities - especially, as is the case in Bonn, with regard to the systematic pooling of activities so far to achieve greater sustainability.  

Cities play a key role when it comes to implementing the SDGs.
Cities play a key role when it comes to implementing the SDGs. © picture alliance / Bildagentur-online/Schoening

More and more municipalities are basing their action on international interrelationships and making commitments to municipal development policy. Nonetheless, the challenges remain huge in view of current crises, from climate change and the energy crisis to the increase in refugee flows. There is a lot to do and little money to do it with. Of course, not all steps towards more sustainability - such as the reorganisation of transport infrastructure - will meet with approval everywhere. And preserving undeveloped land and biodiversityis countered by a growing need for affordable living space and urban production areas. It is imperative that we make the climate action that is necessary as socially compatible as possible.”