Tuesday, 13 Dec 2022  |  Reading time:  11 mins  | Read online

Happy Holidays from the Global Local team!

Our quarterly round-up edition of Global Local allows you to revisit your favourite topics – and gives our new readers a chance to catch up. Keep reading for a refresh on our top content from the past year.

This year, local governments around the globe have faced difficult and wide-ranging challenges. Pressures on community institutions, worsening health inequalities and shifts to workforce participation have coincided with Russia's invasion of Ukraine, ongoing climate issues and the cost of living crisis.

2022 marks the first full year of Global Local, and across 49 editions we have highlighted how local governments across the world have stepped up to meet these challenges. Over the year, we've focused on sharing local best practice, innovative policies, and responses to major and overlooked issues, while encouraging greater connection between councils across the globe.

This is the first of two editions rounding up what we've covered in 2022, with a focus on the social challenges faced by local government. In January, we'll take a look at topics more connected to planning, including housing, infrastructure, climate change, infrastructure and transport.

Thank you for reading this year, and we hope you enjoy your festive break. We always love to hear from you, so please get in touch with us with any comments, questions or suggestions for next year.

Global Local by the numbers

49 editions of Global Local in 2022.
131 curated innovation and inspiration case studies from 44 countries.
163 policy and resource examples from councils and leading institutions.
28 featured policy briefings.
14 featured articles, blogs and case studies.
7,879 Followers on our Twitter account @GlobalLocalLGIU.

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Museums are one of our most trusted public institutions, but are under threat from dwindling investment. We examined how museums are vital community assets that can reflect the history of their local areas while equipping residents with skills, resilience, and collective understanding.

In August, we turned our attention to the global addiction crisis, a public health epidemic with devastating impacts on communities. Our featured briefing covered the lasting legacy of the locally-created Iceland Model for discouraging teen alcohol and drug use, alongside case studies on cities that have turned the tide against gambling and opioid nightmares.

We also focused on global health inequalities in a post-pandemic world, where for many healthcare outcomes have worsened, leading to a new impetus to address the root causes more comprehensively than before. We provided a new long read about local government's key role in addressing this issue, supported by inspiring local policy examples.

Finally, we marked Valentine's Day with a spotlight on local government's role in sexual health services. Sexual health services have faced severe disruption in recent years, leading to alarming and lasting impacts on global gender equality. We featured a briefing with innovative service delivery case studies from the UK and Canada.

Following Queen Elizabeth II’s death in September, we created a special edition reflecting on the role that local government plays during periods of public mourning. We showcased local government tributes to the Queen's public service from across the globe as part of a wider look into how community leaders can support people through difficult times.

Most recently, we focused on the increasingly-prevalent issue of loneliness, and how local governments can better understand the disproportionate impact it can have on younger people and those living in more rural areas.

We also highlighted the unique challenges facing veterans and mining-dependent communities, sharing innovative examples from around the globe of tailored local support to ensure these groups aren't left behind.

Right at the start of the year, we took a look at the changing nature of work. The structural shifts to working patterns post-pandemic, be it remote working or the 'great resignation', have been felt keenly by local government and have presented challenges for workforce planning. Later in the year, we examined the current and future workforce needs of councils and communities to ensure services are delivered and strategic goals are met. The newsletter featured a new paper highlighting various international examples of initiatives to tackle skills and capacity issues.

Alongside the energy crisis, 2022 will likely be remembered for Russia's invasion of Ukraine. We published a special edition of Global Local focusing on the implications of the invasion on local government globally, covering the importance of protecting democracy, supporting refugees, and preparedness against cyber-attacks.

Elsewhere, we drew on case studies from Belgium and Ireland for our edition on citizen's assemblies and deliberative democracy. We showcased how this model for participatory democracy can bring enormous benefits, as well as an innovative movement in Japan where residents make local planning decisions as if it was the year 2060.

We also explored anchor institutions, and how they can boost local productivity, place-based wellbeing and collaboration through inclusive social procurement and targeted local spending.

One of the year’s most pressing issues for local government was the cost of living crisis. Across multiple editions, we explored innovative ways that local government can help to address rising cost of living concerns for the residents in often desperate times.

We showcased how councils have acted on the frontline this year to help their communities with cost-of-living support, through measures like resilience hubs in the U.S. and warm banks in the UK, despite being in financially vulnerable positions themselves.

We also explored steps that local government can take to reduce energy costs and fuel poverty, from energy efficiency initiatives to more radical projects such as district heat networks. We highlighted best practice case studies including Spain's community energy initiatives and the district heat network in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Remembering how far we still have to go in the fight for gender equality, we examined the serious social crises of modern-day slavery and violence against women, highlighting how local government can intervene to identify victims and help them find a new start. Our featured briefings for these editions presented innovative ways we can improve our awareness of modern slavery locally, alongside the work of a Western Australian organisation supporting women suffering financial abuse.

Our International Women's Day edition turned a critical eye to both the role of women in local government and local government's role in supporting women and girls. We featured initiatives to improve women's political participation, plus targeted gender mainstreaming interventions.

We focused on how local government can use procurement powers to improve social outcomes – both locally and throughout the supply chain. Featured examples included ethical ICT procurement recommendations, sustainable food procurement strategies, and policies empowering Indigenous people.

After the launch of the 'Levelling Up' White Paper in the UK, we explored regional inequality and centralisation globally. We outlined insights from a paper on global city-led levelling up best practice and featured a New Zealand case study on the impacts of central-led cuts.

Finally, to celebrate Pride this year we put a spotlight on how municipalities can visibly welcome, support and celebrate their LGBTQIA+ communities. This edition included a fantastic interview with Carl Austin-Behan, Manchester’s first openly gay Mayor and LGBTQ+ Adviser for the current Mayor, who gave advice on organising effective community-led Pride events and how to make LGBTQ+ issues visible in local government all year round.

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Thanks for reading!

Global Local is a subscription service that brings you the best innovation, ideas and experience to be found in local government around the world. We believe that we learn, adapt and deliver better for our communities when we are connected.

Next week, we’ll be wrapping up the year with a festive showcase of Christmas lights from around the globe.

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