The Nordic View on Sustainability

Learnings from the Local Level


This Nordic Voluntary Subnational Review (VSR) is the first cross-national report of its kind in the world. It has been developed as a joint venture by the Nordic Associations of Local and Regional Governments (LRGAs) and Nordregio. The aim of the report is to highlight how the Nordic municipalities and regional authorities have localised the Sustainable Development Goals – progress made, as well as obstacles they have met in their work. Through the report and a toolbox, we want to share learnings and tested methods with local and regional authorities globally.Development happens locally. At least 105 of the 169 SDGs depend on active engagement from local and regional authorities. The 2030 Agenda can serve as tools to pinpoint sustainability challenges and track progress holistically, fostering collaboration among citizens, businesses, and civil society. Nordic welfare states, known for their autonomy at the municipal and regional level, have long served as a global benchmark for systematically addressing sustainability challenges.This Nordic VSR is based on surveys sent to Nordic municipalities, complemented by interviews with representatives from the LRGAs regarding the strengths and weaknesses of national support to the local level, as well as the role of LRGAs in building competence and promoting municipal cooperation. The report also includes subchapters on methods for meaningful citizen engagement by The Nordic Youth Network for Sustainable Development and the Nordic Civil Society Network.