Equitable Transition Guidebook - ICLEI: Local Governments for Sustainability

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Guidance and Frameworks
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ICLEI Local Governments for Sustainability

Urban environments have largely been designed for and by economically prioritized populations, leaving less privileged groups such as persons with disabilities, gender minorities, children and seniors with significant challenges to access urban services and infrastructures, participate in the city’s governance and benefit from the economic and employment opportunities available locally.

Investments and measures planned as part of sustainability programs offer a chance to rethink how residents access and participate in city life and enhance social equity across all groups and neighborhoods. For instance, redesigning mobility systems towards decarbonization offers an opportunity to rethink how the
city is designed for different users, while recovery of construction materials for reuse holds the potential to increase local employment options. However, if sustainability programs are not planned to include positive equity outcomes, they will fail to benefit all residents alike, while some economic measures might increase the burden for vulnerable populations.

The Equitable Transitions guidebook presents a methodology that enables cities to map the social equity outcomes of local sustainability plans across three dimensions: access, participation and opportunity. For each dimension, tools and recommendations for action were identified, as well as indicators to monitor progress. These build directly on learnings from the ICLEI network and the Urban Transitions Alliance, a global network of industrial legacy cities who have committed to realizing sustainable and inclusive urban transitions.

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