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Management strategy (method)

Union of the Baltic Cities

Detailed description of the Good Practice

The Management Strategy for your unit working with sustainable development is based on the cyclical model of “Qualifying Key Elements for Management”. The Management strategy structure below is a suggested format and should be compatible with other structures (i.e. Aalborg Commitments’ Implementation Guide). The main thing is to includ the following key elements into it:

  • Function (What functions should your unit have and how?)
  • Placement (What is the organisational placement of the unit within the city administration?)
  • Focus (What is the focus of your unit?)
  • People (How your unit should be staffed depends on the strategic choices of function, placement and focus)
  • Success Criteria (How will the employees, the management and other stakeholders know that the unit is developing in the necessary direction?)
  • Economy (How will your unit be funded?)
  • Perspectives on what comes next
  • Finally, you must consider the next steps that need to be taken to fulfil your management

strategy. What initiatives are on their way? Which must still be taken?

The method of creating a management strategy for the city, and for its unit responsible of sustainable development in particular, is defined as the work with organisation and leadership. Thus, it thematically links to the management of sustainable development and to organisation of the the city administration.

Objectives of the Good Practice

The aim is to create a clear management plan for your city administration, with the focus on efficient use of resources, cross-sectrol cooperation and stakeholder involvement for the purpose of better management of sustainable development.

Since this cyclical management approach is meant to take your ideas further whatever your starting point, it can be used regularly – in the development process, as well as once it is established.While qualifying the key elements you should frequently mirror your decisions with your mission, vision, values & principles, governance and project portfolio decisions to ensure they are aligned. Also think about which positive stories you hope to see on the front page of your local newspaper in 10 years.

management strategy supplies your stakeholders with information they
need for making decisions about whether they wish to support the further development
of this management unit.

Participants of the Good Practice

Involving people and inviting them for dialogue often creates curiosity, engagement and
commitment. Keep your eyes open and grasp the opportunity of also discovering the interests
of your internal stakeholders – your colleagues. This can support you in the short and longterm in planning, establishing and running the management unit. Remember, to inspire and be inspired from internal stakeholders does not necessarily demand hours of meetings – it can happen in informal discussions over lunch or shorter constructive meetings. There is much to gain from cross-departmental collaboration.

Target group of the Good Practice

The framework for Management strategy is aimed to benefit the staff of city administration, working with the sustainable development (environment, economic, social issues)in particular. These strategies has been created, tested and in some cases even as part of the overal sustainable development strategies approved by city council, in 13 cities around the Baltic Sea Region.

Funding of the Good Practice

The method of Management strategy has been developed and tested in the INTERREG III B project called SUSTAINMENT -Integrated solutions for sustainability management in Baltic cities (2006-2007). The project was part-financed by the European Union (European Regional
Development Fund) within the BSR INTERREG IIIB Neighbourhood Programme, TACIS, Finnish
Ministry of Environment and the partner cities.

More Details of the Good Practice

In the 13 SUSTAINMENT partner cities the development of the Management startegy contributed to clarifying the following questions within the city adminstration, in terms of the units working with sustainable development:

  • What will be the role of the unit? (e.g. analytical or coordinating unit)
  • What are the mandate and the responsibility of the unit? What are they based on? (e.g. city council decision)
  • What are the benefits of such functions?
  • How and why have you designed the organisational position in this way?
  • Why and how should your unit have this type of scale? (Physical unit, Building or office)
  • Why have you chosen these focus areas?
  • What levels of stakeholder involvement are preferred? Internally and externally?
  • Is there a need for designing the specific developmental steps of a unit. Why and how will you ensure the unit’s continuous development?
  • How do these decisions correlate with the three dimensions of sustainability (Environmental,

economic, social)?

  • What are the necessary human resources and skills? How should the unit then be staffed
  • Who do you recommend as key persons to be involved in the establishment versus the running of

the unit?

  • How will the unit benefit from their participation? How will the persons and their departments benefit?
  • How should the unit coordinate cross-sectorally?
  • What are the qualitative and quantitative criteria (points of assessment)? Why?
  • How can you ensure a win, win, win - perspectives of the unit’s initiatives?
  • What overall time frame does the success criteria correspond to?
  • Would it be advantageous to design future milestones for the future establishment process of the unit?
  • What possibilities do you have and can you create for financing your unit?
  • Is it possible for stakeholders to support the running of the unit in ways other than direct financial contributions i.e. in-kind contributions or services?


As proactive planning is essential to establish or further develope an existing adminstrative unit, to strategically navigate the complex environment, and to get stakeholders to participate, the process of creating Management strategy for these purposes has contributed to setting new targets and improving the management of sustainable development within the city administration.


Documentation and documents

SUSTAINMENT website/activities: http://www.sustainment-project.net/content.php/main:activities/
and outputs: http://www.sustainment-project.net/content.php/main:outputs/

SUSTAINMENT toolkit URBANWORKS: http://www.urbanworks-toolkit.eu/

Available files

Contact details

Union of the Baltic Cities
Environment and Sustainable Development Secretariat
Vanha suurtori 7
FIN-20700 Turku, Finland

phone: +358 2 262 3169
email: environment@ubc.net
www.ubc-action21.net