These questions were central to Sustainment, a project in which twelve cities in the Baltic states collectively went in search of a sustainable future supported by KaosPilots. Finch & Beak is Kaospilots’ partner in the field of CSR and sustainability and was also involved in this project last year. The objective of the project was to gain an understanding of the challenges and opportunities that exist in the area of sustainability and then to implement concrete measures to bring sustainability in the city to a higher level.
The twelve cities - Gdansk, Kalmar, Kaliningrad, Kouvola, Malmö, Novgorod, Örebro, Panevezys, Riga, Siaulai, Turku, Växjö each have different ways of handling the theme of sustainability. Each method has its own unique characteristics and challenges. One thing that they have in common is that a variety of (executive) bodies is constantly making decisions that affect the direction in which the city will develop in the years to come.
It became apparent that developing sustainability asks a great deal of an organisation whether it be a local government or not: people, skills, involvement, effective communication and commitment, and above all and organisational structure to support these initiatives and efforts.
In a closing conference in Gdansk in mid-November, the experiences and insights in the field of sustainability resulting from the project were collected. At the beginning of January 2008 this knowledge, summarised in the “URBANworks” toolkit, became available online for all local governments. This toolkit is a handbook for the development of sustainability.