Tuesday, 5 Apr 2022  |  Reading time:  11 mins  | Read online

Quarterly Round-up

This Global Local edition brings together the content we've featured so far this year, along with survey findings and a look ahead to the coming months.

It has been a turbulent start to 2022 so far for local government globally.

Challenges have kept coming: from uneasy hybrid working transitions, to major flooding, to cost of living and refugee crises exacerbated by Ukraine's invasion by Russian forces. Yet, there have been signs of hope, as pandemic restrictions finally eased in many places and thousands united to donate money, essentials and living space to people affected by the Ukraine war.

Across 12 editions, we've provided a local perspective on headline topics, highlighting best practice case studies and fresh thinking and research. We’ve also explored some overlooked topics, showcasing innovation and inspiration.

As well as this, we’ve listened to your feedback from our January survey and shaped our service accordingly. We'll share some highlights of what you told us later in this round-up.

This curated edition allows you to revisit your favourite topics – and gives our new readers a chance to catch up. Keep reading for a new Think Tank Review and a glimpse of what’s coming up over the next few months.

Thank you for reading Global Local. Please feel free to get in touch with your ideas for this service or to share your story. You can follow us on Twitter or share this newsletter to help us reach more global local government innovators.

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A special edition focused on the implications of the Ukraine invasion for local government globally. LGIU is continuing to gather key resources for local government about how the sector can provide leadership and adapt.

This edition included a new briefing on how the Ukraine invasion might make local government even more vulnerable to cyber attacks.

We also shared an urgent call for volunteer home visitors to support refugee resettlement in the UK and co-hosted a moving event on Ukrainian local democracy, featuring Ukrainian councillors and regional experts (see below).

“I’m used to working with life and death matters of local government. ... [But] life and death decisions around democracy and survival in Ukraine took that combination of inspirational and heartbreaking to another level.”

LGIU's Ingrid Koehler reflects on 'Local Governments in Ukraine: constraints and opportunities for peace and democracy': a partner event between LGIU and the Swedish International Centre for Local Democracy. Read about the event in full here.

Across two editions, we explored innovative ways that local government can help to address rising cost of living concerns.

We 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.

We also looked at how local governments around the world are tackling housing affordability issues – faced by almost 90% of cities globally. We featured innovative local solutions to this issue from an affordability strategy including rent controls in Berlin, Germany, to a strategy helping senior citizens to 'rightsize' in Cork, Ireland.

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

Local government reform was the focus of our first Global Local Executive Panel this year with the Victorian Local Governance Association (VLGA). The event featured local government CEOs and experts from England, Australia, Ireland and New Zealand. Read our live event thread for key panellist insights.

Global Local Executive Panel Series

With global partners, we're offering you regular panel events bringing together senior local government executives from around the globe to share ideas, compare approaches and explore learning opportunities.

Our next panel will explore 'Trust and Culture in Local Government' on 26 May. Find out how to take part in this event and future panels here.

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.

Most recently, 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.

The Covid-19 pandemic highlighted and exacerbated health inequalities, significantly impacting many people but also creating a new impetus to address the root causes more comprehensively than before.

We explored the challenge of global health inequalities in an edition featuring a new long read about local government's key role in addressing this issue, supported by inspiring local policy examples.

To mark Valentine's Day, we focused on local government's role in sexual health services. Many sexual health services are still severely disrupted, creating significant, lasting impacts on gender equality globally. We featured a briefing with innovative service delivery case studies from the UK and Canada.

Rapid technological changes in recent years facilitated the structural shift to global working culture initiated by the pandemic.

Local government has a key role in adapting to the changing nature of work in recovery and beyond – both within their organisation and the communities they serve. To support this, we highlighted innovative approaches to regional coworking, European 'right to disconnect' policies, and public sector hybrid working guides.

Open data was ubiquitous during the pandemic in the form of dashboards and statistics, but local government can expand its use in other areas. Good practice examples range from user-friendly platforms to resources supporting collaboration.

Our weatherproofing active travel edition focused on how local government can help to make active travel safe and appealing all year round.

We highlighted a new briefing with practical examples of how Nordic cities are designed to support mobility year round, plus equitable cycle investment case studies and wider policy lenses incorporating local weather conditions. 

Survey: what you told us

In January, we asked you to tell us what you wanted us to cover in Global Local this year. We had some fantastic responses and are grateful for the time you took to answer. Here are the headlines.

The top 3 global issues that interested you the most were:

1    Democracy & governance (59%)
  Social welfare & equalities (53%)
3 = Housing & planning (44%)
3 = Environmental issues (44%)

You told us you wanted more global content on community engagement and finance. We will cover these topics later this year.

75% use Global Local to improve your knowledge of topics, while 57% use it to inform current work or stay up to date with sectoral innovation.

More than 90% wanted more global best practice, research and resources, while 87% wanted more news and inspiration. You overwhelmingly prefer an equal share of both upbeat, skimmable content and deep, technical exploration of issues.

Nearly 85% of you prefer to receive Global Local emails once a week or less, which has informed the direction we are taking this service.

Thank you to all of you who said you could help shape the service further over the next year. We will contact you directly soon.

More from Global Local

NEW: March 2022 Global Local Think Tank Review

This month’s Think Tank Review focuses on democracy and governance, particularly in Europe and North America. We also cover data, urban and rural development, energy and Covid-19 recovery, as well as healthcare satisfaction.
Read this new briefing here.

Coming up

Thank you for reading! Over the coming months, we will be exploring topics including the following: age friendly places, coastal protection, anchor institutions, and tiny houses to manage homelessness.

In exciting news, we will be taking part in the ICLEI World Congress 2021-2022 summit in Malmö, Sweden, next month as one of the event sponsors. If you are attending the conference, let us know beforehand or find us at our in-person or virtual stand. For everyone, we'll be covering key discussions at this event and sharing useful sustainability resources.

Do you have stories to share on any of these topics? Which topics would you like us to cover next? We'd love to hear from you.

Drop us a line at ingrid.koehler@lgiu.org or fill in this simple form on our website. You can also get in touch with us via Twitter at @GlobalLocalLGIU.

Have a story to share? Get in touch!

Want more content? Visit our website to access our Global Local briefings, blogs, podcast and more.

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