In the Fall of 2015, the member states of the United Nations unanimously adopted Agenda 2030, a resolution outlining 17 Sustainable Development Goals to guide collective action over the next fifteen years. The ensuing campaigns to raise awareness and engage the public acknowledged the importance of local actors in achieving progress, but few anticipated that cities would adopt – and adapt – the Goals as their own. In 2017, with the generous support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, Mayor Eric Garcetti put the City of Los Angeles in a position to spearhead this global development agenda.
The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) implementation in Los Angeles is a multi-phase multilateral project aimed at adopting, and adapting the Goals across LA. The project is a collaborative effort between the Mayor’s office, Mayor Eric Garcetti, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, which provides technical and financial support to the program. Other key partners include Occidental College, Arizona State University, University of Southern California, and University of California, Los Angeles.
Through our adoption of the SDGs, Los Angeles is taking an active role in measuring ourselves as part of the global community’s collective impact. Over the past 2 years, this work enabled us to embrace a common language with other cities, while allowing us to share data, methodology, and lessons learned.
By adopting the SDGs, Los Angeles has affirmed its part or responsibility in the global community and the shared agenda for progress. Angelenos speak more than 220 different languages — we are citizens of the world. We recognize that sustainable development doesn’t just happen in faraway places; it happens in our own neighborhoods. The SDGs are about us, and they start at home.
This work is an opportunity for the City to partner with other global cities, including New York and Helsinki, on methodology and knowledge sharing. Taking the initiative to report our progress puts Los Angeles at the vanguard of local implementation. It signals the importance of recognizing how cities contribute to the dialogue on sustainable development, and the direct role we play in furthering this global agenda.
In the years ahead, we hope that the conversation on how cities are localizing the SDGs will take center stage. While a consensus network or forum for that purpose does not yet exist, Los Angeles is eager to lead exchanges with other cities.