This is the final report of a project that explored local engagement with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Sheffield, a city and metropolitan borough in South Yorkshire, UK with an estimated population of 585,506. Sheffield is one of the eight largest regional cities that make up the English Core Cities group. The Sheffield SDG localisation case study was led by researchers from the Realising Just Cities programme at the University of Sheffield’s Urban Institute, working in partnership with Sheffield City Council.
In Sheffield, the Mistra Urban Futures project instigated local engagement with the SDGs that was not happening prior to the research taking place. This initially took the form of conversations between project lead Nick Taylor Buck and Sheffield City Council officials to scope local awareness of and interest in working with the SDGs. Following the appointment of Kristina Diprose as the SDG Research Associate in August 2018, the Urban Institute and Sheffield City Council agreed a partnership to explore local engagement with the SDGs through coproduced research activities.
The local aims of this research were to understand the relevance and usefulness of the SDGs for Sheffield City Council and its partners, to learn from other cities’ experiences of implementing the SDGs, and, contingent on the findings of this work, to coproduce a forward plan for Sheffield’s engagement with the SDGs. Sheffield SDG research and engagement activities included a researcher-led review of local policy alignment with the SDGs, stakeholder interviews, and dialogues with various city officials, groups and city partnerships.