Local Government Leadership on the SDGs

Across the United States, city, regional, and state governments of all sizes are using the SDGs as a common language to unite efforts and build resilient, inclusive communities for all. They are tailoring the SDGs to fit their communities’ needs, creating new solutions and building partnerships to unite the work of students, businesses, and community leaders around sustainable development.

Leadership Spotlight

There is a growing movement across the United States — fueled by students, local leaders, and community members of all kinds — to harness the power of the Sustainable Development Goals to build a better America for all. Learn why 2024 could be a huge year for the SDGs in the U.S.

Los Angeles analyzes data to create smarter policies for those in need.

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Orlando advances equity and sustainability across its operations to build a 21st-century city.

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Phoenix rallies local officials and its most global management school around the SDGs.

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Local Examples

Local governments are at the heart of American leadership on the SDGs through their innovation, policies, and action. Here are a few examples of how they are acting locally to contribute to global progress.


Hawaii is the first U.S. state to assess its progress on the SDGs and is a leader in harnessing the power of public-private partnerships. At the center of this work is Hawaii Green Growth Local2030 Hub, which engages community members around sustainable development. The Aloha+ Dashboard tracks Hawaii’s progress on the SDGs and is organized into six priority areas using community-driven metrics. Hawaii is sharing this model with islands around the world through the Local2030 Islands Network. Additionally, the Hawai’i SDG Youth Council are SDGs leaders with impact in Hawai’i and beyond.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles is a leader in localizing the SDGs and using data to understand where and for which issues people are getting left behind. The city’s SDG dashboard breaks apart data to track progress by demographic characteristics and location. The city also developed an SDG Activities Index, which is an online encyclopedia of local organizations doing work to advance the SDGs. The city works closely with universities and students to add expertise and outside perspectives across its SDG efforts.

New York City

New York City was the first city in the world to report on its SDG progress at the UN through a Voluntary Local Review, launching a global movement that now produced over 200 VLRs. The Mayor’s office brings the SDGs to all five boroughs by working with students through its Junior Ambassadors program.


Pittsburgh was one of the first U.S. cities to report through a Voluntary Local review on the SDGs in the United States.


In 2018, Orlando became one of the first U.S. cities in the country to both inform and align its city sustainability strategy with the SDGs. Its action plan commits to measuring and reporting on progress toward the SDGs. Orlando is publishing its first report on SDG progress in summer 2021. The Mayor’s office works with actors from across the community on the SDGs, including local universities, community foundations, and the regional planning council. The city published its first voluntary local review in 2021.

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