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The Berlin House of Representatives decided upon Berlin Local Agenda 21 in 2006, thereby announcing sustainable urban development as its central theme. The Berlin-Agenda is a plan of action which encompa**** all the main political areas. The goal is to create a society in which liberty and quality of life are guaranteed to every citizen and every generation.

Apart from the just division of resources, sustainable development strives for high ecological, economic and socio-cultural standards worldwide for current and future generations within the limits of natural sustainability:


Goals on the different fields:


Organizing the social life of the city

Berlin is a tolerant, cosmopolitan, sustainable, functional and socially diverse city. Berlin is set apart by the fact that its inhabitants are 'citizens of the world'.


Civic involvement and participation

Players from politics and the administration in Berlin tap the social capital of the city. They promote civic involvement, self-help and participation in all aspects of life and politics.


Traffic and mobility

Berlin is an efficient city. In meeting the mobility needs, it is assumed that equal opportunities are available to all genders and groups of people regardless of age or social background. The economic success of the traffic situation must be ensured while keeping the impact on the environment to a minimum.


Berlin in the landscape of Mark Brandenburg

Together with Brandenburg, Berlin is tapping its regional potential. Urban and regional development takes place in harmony with nature. The regional economic cycles interweave with one another.


Energy and climate policies

People's basic needs for energy are to be satisfied without endangering the natural basis of life. Berlin strives not only for 'more money', but also for 'more intelligence' and 'more conviction and mobilisation' in urban society. The foundation of policies to prevent climate change includes energy conservation, a steady increase in efficiency, increased use of renewable energies and changes in our lifestyle and consumption behaviors.


Economic management and employment

Sustainable economic management is based on the central theme of a socio-ecological market or mixed economy that is characterised by a balance between market mechanisms and government regulation.


Education for the future

Education means that all citizens of Berlin will continue to learn how to take responsibility for themselves in terms of development and participate in the social and economic development of the city.


Equal opportunities for Men and Women - Gender equality

Gender equality in terms of gender-mainstreaming does not limit itself solely to quota systems or the equality that is inscribed in the constitution. Instead, it integrates the particular living conditions and perspectives of both men and women.

It aims to alter gender stereotypes, to change values and expectations, as well as to overcome prejudices and inequalities. For the purpose of a quality objective for men and women, the Berlin-Agenda demands equal developmental opportunities and chances, equal participation in all social areas, as well as equal participation in decision-making at all levels.


Berlin in the One World - Global responsibility in the city

The mutual, international dependence of countries in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 resulted in every person and every group of players, from local to global level, giving their support to being responsible for the sustainable development of humanity and of the earth. It is only possible to live together peacefully long term when the increasingly unequal distribution of wealth is gradually reduced. Therefore, all political decisions have to be examined in terms of how they influence global development.

The Berlin-Agenda argues for a dual strategy: one that supports people in their own countries on the one hand and integrates all those living in Berlin on the other.


There are also a number of projects initiated such as the Sustainability Week, program on Sustainable Development Education, Agency for Temporary use of property, Experiment City Berlin, and many more, related to Fair Trade, intercultural dialogue, sustainable transportation, just to mention a few.


And as for realization of these projects, I can say, though I have only been living here since 9 months, that there is visible improvement, in most sectors. I think one quite successful field is involving citizens and integrating the social life of Berlin in the implementation process of all other areas, people are now more or less aware of the concept of sustainability and sustainable development, and there have been quite a number of citizen initiatives on each field.


What's incredibly important is now sharing this vision with more and more people, and put the vision into further action steps. I have already sent the Berlin Agenda 21 information to a friend of mine, working on a sustainability education project, as well as to my project team (4 people). The big goal now is to include the Berlin Agenda 21 into our project, the Learning Journey Berlin, so that our 20 participants will have the chance to discover what is going on in Berlin in terms of poverty, and solutions to eradicate it - from both citizens and the city's side.


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Comment by Josh Judkins on April 24, 2010 at 2:01am
Thanks for reporting back from Berlin, Viktoria! Awesome to hear that there has been visible improvement in these areas even in the time you've been there. =)

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