Municipal sustainability strategy for Essen

Essen, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany

Advisory board for the development of the sustainability strategy. An approximately 60-member advisory group of stakeholders from administration, politics, business, science and civil society. © Moritz Leick, Stadt Essen

With the Essen Sustainability Strategy, the city of Essen, European Green Capital 2017, is not only focusing on climate protection, but is also setting urban goals across all areas of sustainable development: Climate protection, resource consumption, global responsibility, but also social justice and education are equally important building blocks of the city and must be taken into account at all times.

“We are borrowing resources from the future and cannot give them back. In doing so, we are living partly at the expense of the next generations and ecosystems. Currently, the most important challenge for cities is to change this pattern,” said Simone Raskob, Head of Essen’s Division 6 Environment, Transport and Sports. “From the joint development of a sustainability strategy on a large scale to the promotion of green citizen projects on a small scale, Essen as European Green Capital 2017 is contributing to the necessary change. But we need more of it, and for that we can and must learn from each other and act together — that’s why we are happy to join the #MoveTheDate movement.”

By drawing up the sustainability strategy, the city of Essen is creating a common vision as a sustainable, livable city. The strategy serves as a target system for the entire community, because sustainable development can only be implemented as a joint task. For this reason, the development of the strategy is accompanied by an advisory board consisting of actors from administration, politics, business, science and civil society.

The development of the municipal sustainability strategy shows how important it is to think and act holistically. The process helps to recognize conflicting goals and to use synergies and makes all participants aware of their own contribution to sustainable development.

Since summer 2019, the city of Essen has been developing a municipal sustainability strategy as part of the “Globally Sustainable Municipality NRW” project, with the participation of all business areas of the city administration as well as stakeholders from politics, business, science and civil society.


German Overshoot Day is far too early. Together we can #MoveTheDate. This project supports urban actors in finding solutions which create the future they desire.

The project is lead by the Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production (CSCP) of Wuppertal and Global Footprint Network and financed by Stiftung Mercator.

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