SDGs | Covid-19

Summary of the SDGs Learning 2021 Session 7

Learning session: �Supporting Covid-19 Recovery and SDG implementation at local level: governance, tools and experiences�


Banner for the SDGs Learning 2021 Session 7

Part of the Special Event of the 2021 High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development under the auspices of ECOSOC the Joint Research Centre and partner organisations invite you to the learning session
Supporting Covid-19 Recovery and SDG implementation at local level: governance, tools and experiences.

The session discusses perspectives on Supporting post-pandemic Recovery and SDG implementation, highlighting tools developed by institutions, experiences from local actors and a scientific review of governance approaches.
The focus in on the benefits of Earth observations (EO) for SDGs mapping and monitoring, followed by a practical application via the Degree of Urbanisation Method.
Special attention is devoted to SDGs as a framework for the New Urban Agenda.
The multi-disciplinary and multi-regional demonstration is supported by a critical review of legal, governance tools and policy perspectives of SDGs.

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Session purpose and objectives

Urban and rural areas face COVID-19 differently and require different recovery approaches. This session explores the connections between Earth Observation (EO) data and policy making to support an effective post-pandemic recovery within a sustainable urbanisation. The objectives of the session are to:

  1. Introduce audience to EO principles, advantages and limitations for SDGs implementation and monitoring.
  2. Illustrate EO data and tools included in the Earth Observations Toolkit for Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements for monitoring and visualisation of potential COVID-19 impact on populations of different attributes and levels of urbanisation.
  3. Showcase worldwide available data and tools to support sustainable urbanisation, to assess and mitigate risks linked with epidemic spreads, and to monitor the access to infrastructure and facilities in high demand during pandemics.
  4. Demonstrate the use of an open source SDG Sensemaking tool to help cities align indicators and recovery strategies with the Agenda 2030.
  5. Share an overview of the governance tools used in supranational, national, regional, and local levels to promote sustainable environmental and urban policies, with the support of local case studies: an exploratory study will show how economists and organizations are proposing measures to mitigate the impacts of the disease on the economy and society.


The training features a blend of presentations, global case studies and practical demonstrations.

After a short introduction, the EO4SDG Initiative will illustrate the scientific information sourced from Earth observations to populate and monitor urban SDGs and the New Urban Agenda (25 min).

Next, the JRC will showcase the Degree of Urbanisation, a globally acknowledged method to facilitate SDGs tracking in urban and rural areas, explaining how to apply the Degree of Urbanisation (25 min).

The city of Espoo will demonstrate how to map urban phenomena to SDGs: key SDGs, their targets and indicators are identified (25 min).

Finally, the Nova School of Law presents a selection of case studies, covering several governance levels, regions worldwide, and diverse perspectives on environmental and urban policies (25 min).

Title Time Speaker
Opening of the session by the Chair 5 min Alessandra Zampieri, EC-JRC
A novel Toolkit to assess urban SDGs at a territorial level, and its relevance for accounting for the impact of COVID-19. 25 min Robert Chen, CIESIN NASA SEDAC
Monika Kuffer, ITC and EO4SDG
Applying the Degree of Urbanisation to help SDGs monitoring: a global perspective 10 min Thomas Kemper, EC-JRC
GHSL open data and tools to implement the Degree of Urbanisation method: methods and capacity building facilities 10 min Michele Melchiorri, EC-JRC
A tool for cities to use SDGs as a strategic framework, a mind-set and a set of localized metrics for the urban agenda. 25 min Markku Markkula, Jeeve Masuda, Ville Taajamaa, City of Espoo (Finland)
Legal, Governance tools and Policy perspectives of SDGs, aiming at the building environment and urban resilience and recovery. 25 min Nevin Alija, Tiago Cartaxo, Maira Tito, Nova Law Green Lab
Cristiana Lauri, Global Pandemic Network
Session moderation   Pietro Florio, EC-JRC

Registration details

Partner organisations

Logo for JRC Directorate E
Logo for Earth Observation for SDG
Logo for UN Habitat
Logo for Earth Observation Toolkit for Sustainable cities and human settlements
Logo for NOVA Green Lab
Logo for Volountary local review for SDGs

JRC Contact point: Pietro Florio