Sunday, November 29, 2020
On November 24, Pittsburgh released its first Voluntary Local Review (VLR) assessing the city's progress toward achieving the UN's Sustainable Development Goals. Pittsburgh joins New York and Los Angeles as an early adopter of the SDG framework as a component of local governance. In fact, New York's VLR was the first such local report in the world, leading the way for other cities not only in the U.S. but internationally. Importantly, this is not just a "one and done" exercise. Pittsburgh's Mayor Peduto indicates that he will ask the City Council to formally adopt the SDGs as a framework for city policies, practices and procedures going forward.
Given the U.S. failure to produce a Voluntary National Review under the SDGs, local reviews such as Pittsburgh's take on a special importance, along with other local efforts to address sustainability such as the C40 Cities initiative. For more background on local leadership initiatives around sustainability, many of which incorporate a human rights perspective, see this recent essay from the Brookings Institution's Center for Sustainable Development.