“Sustainable City” dialogue
Strategic cornerstones for sustainable development in municipalities
Drafted by the following Lord Mayors as part of the "Sustainable City" dialogue:
Andreas Bausewein, Erfurt
Andreas Brand, Friedrichshafen
Dirk Elbers, Düsseldorf
Uli Burchardt, Constance
Peter Gaffert, Wernigerode
Dr. Kurt Gribl, Augsburg
Hans-Joachim Grote, Norderstedt
Gudrun Heute-Bluhm, Lörrach
Burkhard Jung, Leipzig
Dr. Angelika Kordfelder, Rheine
Markus Lewe, Münster
Ulrich Mädge, Lüneburg
Dr. Ulrich Maly, Nuremberg
Jürgen Nimptsch, Bonn
Boris Palmer, Tübingen
Reinhard Paß, Essen
Dr. Daniel Rapp, Ravensburg
Jürgen Roters, Cologne
Dr. Dieter Salomon, Freiburg
Dr. Wolfgang Schuster, former Lord Mayor of the city of Stuttgart and member of the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE)
Werner Spec, Ludwigsburg
Dr. Jens Triebel, Suhl
Christian Ude, Munich
Stephan Weil, Hanover
Dr. Eckart Würzner, Heidelberg
Time to take action
We invite our colleagues to support our cornerstones. We are aware that many have already made such a move. We look forward to welcoming as many fellow advocates as possible to help us, in conjunction with the German Council for Sustainable Development, make our initiative even more effective. Anyone who is serious about the notion of sustainability must harness it for the future of the cities.
Berlin, 13th October 2010,
With the assistance of the German Council for Sustainable Development
What we seek
We align our policies to the principles of sustainability. Sustainable urban development, which addresses ecological, economic and social issues on equal terms and operates on the basis of intergenerationally just finances, is the best foundation for the future of our cities.
The notion of sustainability is too important for it to be allowed to be diluted through imprudent and arbitrary use. For this reason, based on our practical experience, we formulate cornerstones for sustainable development in municipalities. The cornerstones are geared to all those with accountability at the federal and Laender levels, in cities and municipalities. We serve notice of the urgent need to improve the degree of political support provided by the Federal Government and the Laender.
Our four cornerstones
- Sustainability must be conceived by people: concrete, spirited, hands-on, with a perspective and together with the people.
For this reason, we set store by dialogue, participation and the assumption of responsibility and give sustainability a face through concrete local projects and local sustainable economic management. Although our cities are different, the experiences we have accumulated in terms of commitment and involvement have been positive. In the context of climate protection, for example, long-term visions and concepts have emerged from a wealth of ideas and creative proposals.
- Sustainability entails not consuming more resources – including financial ones – than are available.
For this reason, we champion a balanced budget and the reduction of debt for the benefit of generations to come. To establish cost transparency, we review the lifetime costs of all major investment projects. We seek to apply sustainability audits in the future to safeguard the budgetary handling of financial and natural resources.
In parallel, we call for the municipalities to be given structural relief. New tasks should only be assigned to municipalities once a funding solution has been mutually agreed with the municipalities.
- Sustainable development requires the integrated interaction of all departments.
For this reason, we have to ensure that sustainability becomes a matter for all senior decision-makers and integrate this cross-cutting task into policies and administration. We align enterprises run by the municipality and our public procurement system to the notion of sustainability wherever this is possible. We call upon the EU, the Federal Government and the Laender to improve the framework conditions for sustainable procurement and sustainable economic management.
- The Federal Government, the Laender and the municipalities must toe the same rope if they truly wish to make real on sustainability strategies.
For this reason, we want greater coordination between the municipalities, the Laender, the Federal Government and the European Union. We are willing to gear our sustainability strategies and their indicators to the sustainable development strategies of the Federal Government and the Laender. In turn, however, we expect the Federal Government and the Laender to include the municipalities more closely in the furthering of their strategies and the Federal Government and Laender to align their policies to the model of sustainability more closely than before.