Seminar & Workshop 11 Oct: How Can Cities Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals?

The global Agenda 2030 is in fact a local one – rapid urbanisation means municipalities will play a crucial role in battling poverty and climate change. Join us for a breakfast seminar on drivers of sustainable development, and a SymbioCity workshop on designing inclusive cities!


Thursday, October 11th 2018
Venue: Sida, Valhallavägen 199, Stockholm

RSVP to the seminar and/or workshop here!

8:30-9:00 Breakfast sandwiches and SymbioCity exhibition

9:00-10:20 Seminar: How Can Cities Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals?

13:30-16:00 Interactive SymbioCity Workshop: Participatory Tools for Sustainable and Inclusive Cities

Seminar 9:00-10:20: How Can Cities Achieve the Sustainable Development Goals?

The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) endorse, for the first time, a stand-alone goal on urbanisation and city growth as a transformative force for development. Goal 11 of the SGDs aims to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable.

With more than half the world population already living in cities, SDG 11 is a recognition that good urban management will play a crucial role in battling poverty and climate change.

In this seminar, we aim to critically examine the progress that cities worldwide have made towards achieving the SDGs. With a focus on issues of gender equity, environmental resilience, and urban poverty reduction, the seminar will aim to animate the key challenges cities face in moving towards the fulfilment of SDGs.


Belay File Garoma, PhD, National Urban Expert for SymbioCity Ethiopia. Belay is an Assistant Professor in Urban and Development Economics at the Ethiopian Civil Service University. He has extensive experience in urban research and policy, including as a Director within Ethiopia’s Ministry of Urban Development, Housing and Construction, and consultant for UN-Habitat and the World Bank. Belay is an economist by training and his research focuses on the urban informal sector.

Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of Malmö. Katrin is also a board member of the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions (SALAR), and part of the Swedish Government’s Delegation for Agenda 2030.

Prof. David Simon, Director of Mistra Urban Futures, a leading international research centre on urban sustainability co-funded by Sida and based at Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg.  A key part of its programme addresses the New Urban Agenda and SDGs directly. David is also Professor of Development Geography at Royal Holloway, University of London, UK.

Helena Ohlsson, Urban Specialist at SKL International. Formerly with UN-Habitat Afghanistan, Sweco and Architects Without Borders, Helena has managed various integrated urban development projects from detailed to strategic and regional planning, as well as community-led upgrading in informal, post-conflict and post-disaster areas. She is currently working with SymbioCity in Myanmar and Tunisia.

Moderated by Mats Jarnhammar, Managing Director of Living Cities. Mats is an urban development specialist with more than ten years’ experience from urban issues in Asia and Africa. His main interest lies in the dynamics between cities and people, where he in different roles has been focusing on inclusive cities and integrated planning.

Nayoka Martinez-Bäckström, Programme Manager Environment and Urban Development, Sida

Introduction: locating “urban” in the development agenda
Mats Jarnhammar, Director, Living Cities

The local level: why do cities matter for the SDGs?
Katrin Stjernfeldt Jammeh, Mayor of Malmö and member of Swedish Government’s Agenda 2030 Delegation

How do cities fight climate change and what is the overall progress toward SDG 11?
Prof. David Simon, Director, Mistra Urban Futures

The East African case: what does urban mean for poverty reduction?
Belay File Garoma, Assistant Professor, Ethiopian Civil Service University

SymbioCity: what does holistic, inclusive and sustainable urban development mean in practice?
Helena Ohlsson, Urban Specialist, SKL International

Panel discussion: how does sustainable urban development help achieve the SDGs?
Moderated by Mats Jarnhammar

We will also watch a short clip featuring officials from Myanmar, Ethiopia and Kenya.

Workshop 13:30-16:00: Participatory Tools for Sustainable and Inclusive Cities

Using virtual reality technique, we will travel to 1-2 cities and explore solutions and institutional changes with the goal of improving life quality of all stakeholders identified.

We will

  • analyse casual aspects and identify stakeholders in the cities;
  • develop inclusive and integrated solutions from a multi-stakeholder perspective;
  • identify how to reach the proposed solutions through cross-sectorial collaboration.

Join us for this exciting workshop for experts and non-experts alike! Limited number of places.

Download invitation for web here

Download invitation for print here

SymbioCity is a holistic and inclusive approach to sustainable urban development. Since 2010, the Swedish Association of Local Authorities and Regions together with cities around the world have used SymbioCity as a tool to contribute to urban poverty alleviation.