“Sustainable City” dialogue – mayors for sustainable development in municipalities

Sustainability needs responsible leadership. Which is exactly what the mayors of over forty German cities involved in the “Sustainable City” dialogue stand for. This dialogue has been facilitated by the German Council for Sustainable Development (RNE) since early 2010.

For the participating mayors, sustainability is a top-level issue. As political representatives, they are making a special effort towards sustainable development in their cities. Through this dialogue format, they exchange insights on strategies and measures related to sustainable development. They provide key impulses for municipal sustainability policy and sustainable urban development at a national level through their joint recommendations and policy papers. The RNE has facilitated this dialogue process.

The following mayors are participants in the “Sustainable City” dialogue:

  • Mayor Dr Pascal Bader, Kirchheim unter Teck
  • Mayor Andreas Bausewein, Erfurt
  • Mayor Andreas Brand, Friedrichshafen
  • Mayor Uli Burchardt, Konstanz
  • Mayor Gunter Czisch, Ulm
  • Mayor Katja Dörner, Bonn
  • Mayor Stefan Fassbinder, Greifswald
  • Mayor Mario Hecker, Kalletal
  • Mayor Jürgen Herzing, Aschaffenburg
  • Mayor Martin Horn, Freiburg
  • Mayor Burkhard Jung, Leipzig
  • Mayor Claudia Kalisch, Lüneburg
  • Mayor Dr Ulf Kämpfer, Kiel
  • Mayor Tobias Kascha, Wernigerode
  • Mayor Dr Stephan Keller, Düsseldorf
  • Mayor Sibylle Keupen, Aachen
  • Mayor Dr Matthias Knecht, Ludwigsburg
  • Mayor Marcus König, Nürnberg
  • Mayor Thomas Kufen, Essen
  • Mayor Markus Lewe, Münster
  • Mayor Jörg Lutz, Lörrach
  • Mayor Dr Peter Lüttmann, Rheine
  • Mayor Alex Maier, Göppingen
  • Mayor Dr Frank Mentrup, Karlsruhe
  • Mayor Belit Onay, Hannover
  • Mayor Boris Palmer, Tübingen
  • Mayor Katharina Pötter, Osnabrück
  • Mayor Dr Daniel Rapp, Ravensburg
  • Mayor Dieter Reiter, Munich
  • Mayor Henriette Reker, Cologne
  • Mayor Elke Christina Roeder, Norderstedt
  • Mayor Dr Eckhard Ruthemeyer, Soest
  • Mayor Prof. Dr Uwe Schneidewind, Wuppertal
  • Mayor Dr Thomas Spies, Marburg
  • Mayor Andreas Starke, Bamberg
  • Mayor Bernd Tischler, Bottrop
  • Mayor Eva Weber, Augsburg
  • Mayor Thomas Westphal, Dortmund
  • Mayor Dr Manfred Wilde, Delitzsch
  • Mayor Dr Eckart Würzner, Heidelberg

Strategic cornerstones for sustainable development in municipalities

To provide a basis for shared dialogue, the participating mayors have laid out a set of strategic cornerstones for sustainable development in municipalities. In doing so, they voice their commitment to the 2030 Agenda and its Sustainable Development Goals as well as the sustainable development goals Germany has set itself. They also make a firm commitment to the goal of achieving climate neutrality and maintaining the 1.5 °C target.

The cornerstones form the strategic foundation of their shared understanding of sustainable urban development. The participating mayors base their own approaches to policymaking on these and thereby provide important impulses for municipal sustainability policy throughout Germany.

At the heart of the dialogue format and of the cornerstones is the principle that this is a top-level issue. Because sustainable development calls for responsible leadership and clear decisions, both regarding sustainability goals and when conflicts arise between equally important targets or regarding the setting of priorities.

The current third version of the cornerstones was published in November 2019.

Publications & brochures

In our hands - strategic cornerstones for sutainable development in municipalities

Positions and impulses from the Mayors involved in the "Sustainable City" Dialogue; November 2019


→ Press Release, 16 Dec. 2019 (only available in German): Forderungen der Oberbürgermeister*innen für eine nachhaltige Mobilität

Policy papers and recommendations

Through joint policy papers and recommendations, the mayors provide impulses at federal level for municipal sustainability policy in order to strengthen the shared efforts towards sustainability through strong responsibility at municipal level.

The following policy papers are only available in German.


„Wie und womit wir zukünftig mobil sein wollen“

Schlussfolgerungen des Oberbürgermeister-Dialogs „Nachhaltige Stadt“ vom 14.11.2019 zur nachhaltigen Mobilität.


→ Press Release, 16 Dec. 2019 (only available in German): Forderungen der Oberbürgermeister*innen für eine nachhaltige Mobilität


Mehr Nachhaltigkeit der Bauland- und Bodenpolitik: Beschluss vom 14. Juni 2018

Im gemeinsamen Beschlusspapier „Mehr Nachhaltigkeit der Bauland- und Bodenpolitik“ fordern 18 Oberbürgermeisterinnen und Oberbürgermeister die Ursachen des W...


Positionspapier: Beschluss des Oberbürgermeister-Dialoges Nachhaltige Stadt vom 15.03.2017

Im gemeinsamen Papier „Positionen zur Nachhaltigkeit“ setzen die Oberbürgermeisterinnen und Oberbürgermeister wichtige Impulse für die nachhaltige Entwicklun...

Publications and brochures

Through further publications, the participants provide additional concrete input on how municipalities can set an example for others in the area of sustainable development.

The following publications are only available in German.

Publications & brochures

Städte auf Kurs Nachhaltigkeit - Wie wir Wohnen, Mobilität und kommunale Finanzen zukunftsfähig gestalten

Erarbeitet vom Deutschen Institut für Urbanistik auf Veranlassung der am Dialog „Nachhaltige Stadt“ beteiligten Oberbürgermeisterinnen und Oberbürgermeister

Publications & brochures

Mit starken Kommunen die Energiewende zur Erfolgsstory machen

texte Nr. 43: Mit starken Kommunen die Energiewende zur Erfolgsstory machen - erarbeitet im Rahmen des Dialogs „Nachhaltige Stadt“ von den Oberbürgermeisteri...

Meetings and events of the “Sustainability City” dialogue

Meetings which generally take place once a year are the primary focus of the joint dialogue. These non-public discussions provide a framework in which the participants can engage in open and constructive exchange of ideas related to this topic area as well as the challenges of implementation. Joint resolutions are discussed and the groundwork is laid for the dialogue’s ongoing work. The “Sustainable City” dialogue will be continued in 2020 as well.

Additional joint events supplement the annual meetings. On 20 February 2019 numerous members of the Bundestag and mayors came together in Berlin for the first “Sustainable City” parliamentary evening.


→ News, 25.02.2019 (only available in German): Blaupausen für die nachhaltige Stadt. Bericht zum parlamentarischen Abend