Integrating the SDGs into Municipal Infrastructure Decision Making

The problem: The global SDGs and GHG frameworks to which Canada is signatory, the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement, have created new GHG and social equity obligations. Yet, in Canada these frameworks are for the most part treated as aspirational. In practice the ambition they embody collides with a staggering lack of progress.

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

  1. No Poverty
  2. Zero Hunger
  3. Good Health and Well-being
  4. Quality Education
  5. Gender Equality
  6. Clean Water and Sanitation
  7. Affordable and Clean Energy
  8. Decent Work and Economic Growth
  9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
  10. Reduced Inequality
  11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
  12. Responsible Consumption and Production
  13. Climate Action
  14. Life Below Water
  15. Life on Land
  16. Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
  17. Partnerships for the Goals

Executive Summary: Just Green Cities

Just Green Cities addresses a core challenge Canadians face in implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and addressing the climate crisis: municipal infrastructure renewal. In particular, how do we move from national commitments to operationalizing equity-driven change at the municipal level to meet 2030 and 2050 SDGs and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction targets?

Evidence-based Discussion Paper

We focused our research on three key areas: net zero housing, fleet electrification and stormwater management. To create this evidence-based Discussion Paper, we conducted a series of topic-based literature reviews followed by foresight-informed scoping workshops with expert participants from across Canada. We asked participants to share knowledge and experiences of what they're seeing at the intersection of four key drivers of change: social equity; sustainable financial equity; the climate emergency; and municipal infrastructure. The result is a flexible framework for integrating these perspectives into municipal infrastructure decision making.