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Voluntary Local Review Pilot Project

Friday, February 28, 2020

Voluntary Local Reviews (VLR), a regional parallel to the Voluntary National Review (VNR), are an emerging process by which sub-national governments can report on their progress on Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Like the VNR, the goal of the VLR is to share strategies, successes and failures to assist other communities in their pursuit of the SDGs.

About VLRs

Representatives from global cities sign the Voluntary Review Declaration Photo in New York City at an HLPF 2019 side event. Photo credit: NYC Mayor's Office for International Affairs. 

New York became the first city to present its VLR to the UN High Level Political Forum on Sustainability (HLPF) in July 2018. The Institute for Global Environmental Strategies (IGES) City Taskforce has supported Japanese cities in the creation of VLRs and has established an online VLR Lab to serve as a resource hub and sharing platform.

At HLPF 2019, VLRs from New York, Los Angeles, Bristol (UK) and Durban (South Africa) were presented in addition to a report on SDG implementation from Bacarena (Brasil). At an HLPF 2019  side event the New York City-led Voluntary Review Declaration was signed by 21 communities from around the world.

This report from Brookings Institution, "Next generation urban planning: Enabling sustainable development at the local level through voluntary local reviews (VLRs)," effectively summarizes and analyses the state of VLRs globally and includes practical insights from communities that have undertaken this process.

Is your community interested in producing a VLR? Get in touch with S. S. Ahmad, CEO of Green Beacon.