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Managing sustainability - An organisational framework

Union of the Baltic Cities

Detailed description of the Good Practice

The Managing sustainability - An organisational framework includes exercises and processes that support city adminstrators in gathering the information necessary for and preparing for the development of an organisational unit with the focus on sustainable development. The method results as a coherent plan on how and where to develop and establish a special unit that will coordinate the sustainable develoment of the city.

The Managing sustainability - An organisational framework deals with four themes: Governance, Communication, Management and Sustainable Development Tools one-by-one. With the help of excercises and tasks relating to these four themes city adminstration can develop a tangible management model for sustainable city development.

The method for developing a Sustainability management center relates to planning and management issues within the city administration. It focuses on the cross-sectoral approach and thus integrates the different dimensions of sustainable development environment, economic and social).

Objectives of the Good Practice

Sustainability is not a goal, but a conscious and dynamic process. To take steps towards
a sustainable community and a bright future, organisations must have the ability to adapt to ongoing changes and challenges within society – and draw on resources. The main objective of the framework is thus to contribute to the local capacities to better manage the sustainable developmnet. The framework helps city administrators to organise the information and transform the guidance into a tangible concept for the decision makers. Based on this produced plan the city council can then take the decision on how to sustainably and efficiently organise the management of city development.

The pilot cities in SUSTAINMENT project succcessfully tested the framework and created these development plans for a Sustainability Management Centres during the two years project. A few of these plans were even accepted by the city council during the project.

Participants of the Good Practice

The creation of the plan was coordinated by the SUSTAINMENT city teams, but the work was conducted cross-sectorally and with a specific focus on stakeholder involvement (citizens, experts, NGOs, universities).

Target group of the Good Practice

The organisational framework is meant to serve people working with the sustainable development issues within the city administration. Further it is meant to serve the overall planning and management of the city development and can thus be used by and benefit the whole city organisation.

Funding of the Good Practice

The SUSTAINMENT 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

The framework is divided into four main sections: Governance, Communication, Management,
and Sustainable Development Tools. In going through each of the sections, you will be able to see common threads and links between the sections. Your plan will be stronger if these links are developed coherently. The resulting sustainability management unit will generate value not just for the management unit, but also for the citizens, the organisations, the stakeholdersand the city as a whole.
To improve the management of the city´s sustainable development, certain key elements of the organisational framework has been taken into account in these plans:

  • An inspiring and engaging introduction
  • The vision of your unit: addressing sustainability gaps and opportunities
  • The mission of your unit
  • Governance Principles
  • Communication Strategy
  • Management Strategy
  • Sustainable Development Tools (projects) / Reporting

Documentation and documents

13 city examples in SUSTAINMENT website:http://www.sustainment-project.net/content.php/main:outputs/

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-20500 Turku, Finland

phone: +358 2 262 3169
e-mail: environment@ubc.net