Kiel International
Voluntary Local Review 2022 – City of Kiel

“For Kiel and the world: Thinking globally, driving change locally” – this slogan sums up the guiding principles behind Kiel’s sustainability efforts and municipal activities.

Since signing the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Building Sustainability at the Local Level, which was launched by the Association of German Cities (Deutscher Städtetag), Kiel has been working to align its daily administrative activities with the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). One key aspect of this process has been to boost citizen engagement through a broad range of projects.

In order to make Kiel’s commitment more visible on an international level, inspire other municipalities and share knowledge and experience, the city is publishing its first Voluntary Local Review (VLR) on the SDGs prioritised by the High Level Political Forum, i.e. goals 4, 5, 14, 15 and 17.

The VLR was financed and supported by the Service Agency Communities in One World (SKEW - Servicestelle Kommunen in der Einen Welt), which works on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) to provide advice to municipalities and cities.


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Landeshauptstadt Kiel
Internationales und Nachhaltigkeit
Fleethörn 9, 24103 Kiel

Frauke Wiprich
0431 901-2500


Kiel’s achievements so far – SDGs 4, 5, 14, 15 and 17

The way forward: Kiel’s goals for the future

In 2022, Kiel will review its international strategy, giving key consideration to the growing role played by cities in international diplomacy. We can only make the transition to sustainability if we succeed in implementing the SDGs locally.

Having recognised this fact, Kiel’s main priority for the coming years will be to align its municipal policies – in areas including urban planning, education, sustainable transport, housing, and environmental and climate action – with the SDGs and to ensure that its citizens, the local economy and research institutions actively support and engage in this process.

Kiel is embracing this challenge and considers its first VLR as an incentive to engage in broader international dialogue with other cities and to work together to find solutions to our shared challenges.


Illustration mit bunten maritimen Motiven
Illustration: Édith Carron


SDG 4 Quality Education

Making education inclusive and equitable has been among the city’s priorities long before the Covid pandemic forced schools to go into extended lockdown. 

For example, a diverse range of projects has been introduced to ensure that young people successfully make the transition from school to the world of work. However, the outreach of these programmes needs to be increased to ensure that pupils leave school equipped with the relevant skills and qualifications.

Since education is the cornerstone of a sustainable and future-oriented society, the city is also working hard to establish a local Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) network.


Illustration zu SDG 4: Édith Carron
Illustration zu SDG 4: Édith Carron


SDG 5 Gender Equality

Gender equality is a key priority in Kiel, both inside and outside the municipal authority.

Particular focus is given to enhancing equal opportunities, preventing domestic abuse and enacting the Istanbul Convention. Throughout the year, publicity campaigns and events on gender equality issues and gender equity take place to raise awareness and generate attention.

Alongside its ongoing efforts to foster gender equality within the municipal authority, it was possible to expand te places in the women's shelter, which helps women to escape domestic abuse. The management principles of the City of Kiel are currently being redrafted and supplemented by the inclusion of an explicit management principle on diversity, gender equality and equality.


Illustration zu SDG 5: Édith Carron
Illustration zu SDG 5: Édith Carron


SDG 14 Life below Water

As a coastal city, Kiel is especially motivated to protect marine life.

A number of projects launched by research institutions, companies, business associations, community groups and the Kiel municipal authority are focused on deepening our understanding of the oceans and promoting marine protection.

Bringing these diverse actors together is one of the city’s key concerns, although providing the necessary funding to back this initiative (and coordinate networking efforts, for instance) remains a challenge, as marine protection is not a core municipal responsibility.


Illustration zu SDG 14: Édith Carron
Illustration zu SDG 14: Édith Carron


SDG 15 Life on Land

For over a century, Kiel has been aware of the benefits that green spaces bring to humans and animals.

In 2022, Kiel will celebrate the city´s 100-year-old green belt, then and now a popular recreational area boasting lakes and forests along with sport and park facilities. Today, creative ideas are being put into practice in these areas. One plan involves cultivating flower meadows for bees instead of simply grassing over areas.

Internationally, too, Kiel is taking its responsibility for the natural world seriously by supporting the creation of a tree nursery in Tansania´s Moshi District. Accommodating - and prioritizing - conflicting interests when it comes to land use remains a challenge the city is aiming to solve.


Illustration zu SDG 15: Édith Carron
Illustration zu SDG 15: Édith Carron


SDG 17 Partnerships for the Goals

Kiel’s international work is reflected in the projects the city is working on together with its twin cities.

At the municipal level, Kiel’s efforts play an important part in promoting intercultural dialogue, fostering peace, building cooperation across Europe and supporting the implementation of the SDGs.

The current war in Ukraine has once again highlighted how crucial it is to work for peace, which cannot be taken for granted (any longer) in Europe. This goes for all levels of government, including municipalities

Cities have an important role to play in enabling their citizens to establish international contacts and to promote mutual understanding. In addition to regularly sharing experiences with other city administrations in networks such as the Union of the Baltic Cities, Kiel hosts the annual International Cities Forum, which provides the city and its international partners with a forum for focused discussions on municipal topics.

The theme for 2022 centres on promoting sustainable mobility in cities.


Illustration zu SDG 17: Édith Carron
Illustration zu SDG 17: Édith Carron