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CapaCities: Building Sustainability Implementation Capacity in City Staff and Leadership

Municipalities are increasingly taking action against climate change and have a long history of tackling a host of environmental challenges. However, solutions to complex problems remain fragmented and piecemeal in the majority of the world’s cities, hindering their effectiveness and long-term success. Part of the problem is that local governments often lack capacity to create, implement, evaluate, and adapt plans, programs, projects and policies that deliver sustainability.

In the pilot year (2017), capacity-building trainings are being organized in four cities, across three countries (Germany, Mexico, and United States). GCSO members work closely with city leadership to help them unpack complex urban issues, anticipate threats and opportunities, strengthen inter-departmental collaboration, as well as coordinate investments and policy options to advance urban sustainability. Each capacity building activity is tailored and builds on existing assets while linking to previous or parallel efforts.

Insights from the pilot sites will be synthesized to create a context sensitive typology of good practices. This resulting framework will be inherently flexible enough to ensure transferability and scalability of outcomes to maximize impact — local to global. In year two, the project will be adapted to address sustainability challenges in other GCSO member cities worldwide.

GCSO Participants:

Arizona State University (ASU) Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT)
    Richard Beecroft, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis, KIT
    Andreas Seebacher, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis, KIT
    Kaidi Tamm, Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis, KIT
Portland State University (PSU) Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México (UNAM)
    Amy Lerner, Laboratorio Nacional de Ciencias de la Sostenibilidad, UNAM