The Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2015, brings together 17 goals and 169 targets that, until 2030, govern global development programmes in which global transformations will be pursued that contribute to ending extreme poverty , fighting inequalities and injustices and tackling climate change.
The goals and targets included in Agenda 2030 are universal and encompass the three dimensions of sustainable development: economic, social and environmental. Among them, there is one dedicated to sustainable urban development that aims to achieve safe and sustainable cities and human settlements, while underlining the importance of the regional and subregional dimension for this development.
Within this framework, the Basque Country has developed a call to boost innovation at the local level in order to improve the mainstreaming of the sustainability agenda.
88 projects proposed by local authorities/administrations have been co-financed by the Basque Regional Government between 2008 and 2020.
To achieve this, the governance of the sustainability agenda in the Basque Country and the leadership of Ihobe (the Basque Environmental Agency), have been the keystone elements for its success.
The call for grants was designed in 2008 to promote innovation among the local entities that are members of the Udalsarea 2030 Network, as part of an advanced service of the membership to the network. The objective was to facilitate the implementation of transformative and demonstrative projects at local level, to help pilot them and to reward the most advanced municipalities in the application of sustainability policies with financing to make their ideas come true. Since then, 88 demonstrative projects of 100 different local administrations have been financed with 2,317,140 € from the Basque Regional Government.
The format of the call has evolved since 2008, both in terms of the themes to be financed and in the way of managing each call. This evolution through the years was due to the contributions made by the participating municipalities, the lessons learned by the managing staff of the calls and the suggestions collected by the members of the Udalsarea 2030 Network.
Between 2008 and 2020, the innovation call has involved 38 different municipalities and 9 district-supramunicipal entities (groups of municipalities), encompassing up to approximately 100 municipalities from the 190 involved in the Udalsarea 2030 Network. Furthermore, some of those local bodies have repeatedly demonstrated throughout the years the interest/need for innovating at the local level and the usefulness of this call for municipalities: 23 municipalities have promoted 1 project thanks to the call. The maximum has been reached by 2 municipalities promoting up to 7 projects each.
Access the project’s official website here, and learn about the project’s enablers, key activities and innovations, impacts in several areas, partnerships and replicability in the Case Study Database here.