Researchers: Sylvia Croese, Andrew Tucker, Susan Parnell,
Description of work
The year 2015 represents an unprecedented moment in urban global policy agenda setting with the adoption of Agenda 2030, which includes a stand-alone urban goal on making cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Various other international agreements adopted in the same and following year, such as the Paris Agreement and the New Urban Agenda, highlight the growing recognition and importance of cities as drivers and sites of sustainable urban development (Parnell, 2016).
With their targets and indicator framework, the SDGs represent a crucial mechanism by which countries will be able to develop and monitor effective measures to address the most pressing issues facing the world today. However, the global consensus around the SDGs, and SDG 11 in particular, masks some important challenges and complexities that are likely to surface in the post-2015 era (Barnett and Parnell, 2016). These are not only related to the logic and theories that underpin them or the capacity and resources that cities (especially those in the global South), have to effectively solve urban developmental challenges. They also derive from the global focus on monitoring and implementation which, however important, overlooks the role of local processes and actors in shaping how/which SDGs are taken up. In assessing the localization of the SDGs, there is a need to acknowledge the context specific ways in which cities produce knowledge and engage with/respond to existing as well as unexpected developmental challenges, policies, agendas and monitoring frameworks at different scales of government.
This project will assess the dynamics of SDG localization in the City of Cape Town to gain a better understanding of the challenges and opportunities for SDG implementation at the subnational level. In doing so, it critically seeks to contribute to knowledge production around three bodies of academic work: the local politics and practices of global urban policy making; multi-level governance dynamics; and urban knowledge co-production.
- Investigate the data and knowledge registers mobilized by the City of Cape Town for the localization and implementation of the SDGs, particularly SDG 11.
- Consider how local knowledge and data production related to the SDGs in the City of Cape Town play into, are affected by, and go toward engaging with policies, agendas and monitoring frameworks at other scales of governance, as well as wider urban dynamics.
- Explore novel and good practices that demonstrate/provide insight into the ability of the city to successfully monitor and achieve selected SDG targets.