Successfully manage and communicate development goals and measures for urban development


An initiative by Gruner

Climate neutrality by 2050 is the minimum target agreed by countries in the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement. Cities have a special role to play in achieving this goal, as they are where citizens live and where a large proportion of emissions are caused by our daily behaviour. That is why more and more cities are aiming for an earlier date for climate neutrality. To achieve this result, however, major political disputes are expected at the level of measures.

One of the biggest challenges will be to win democratic support for necessary but uncomfortable steps. A robust process strategy is needed to maximise the chances of success. Transparency plays a key role. It is important to understand where we are going, where we are and what is being done in each area of action. A transparent and coherent urban development narrative promotes public understanding and support for sustainable urban development goals and actions.

Gruner supports the establishment of a consistent development process and offers sustbl, a tool for successful system management.

What should professional sustainability management achieve?

The goal of sustainability management is to promote environmental, social and economic sustainability in a community or city. It aims to minimise the impact of activities on the environment, to be socially responsible and to ensure long-term economic success. There are three main groups of specific goals that professional sustainability management can achieve.

Goal 1:
Progressive and targeted development of the municipality
  • The process is consistent, efficient and transparent
  • Increasing the attractiveness as a place to live, workplace, employer
Goal 2:
Transparency as a key element of corporate governance
  • Avoiding duplication, identifying and using synergies
  • The process establishes a comprehensible narrative of urban development
Goal 3:
Sustainability is part of the DNA of the municipality          
  • Transparent history of community development
  • Promotes acceptance and democratic engagement
  • The sustainability process is credible and tangible

What does sustbl offer?

sustbl is a holistic steering tool that brings together all the projects and campaigns underway in a city or municipality in a structured and clear way. It provides a solid basis for an effective discussion on the current status and future decisions regarding urban development. It helps to identify where the city or municipality stands in terms of sustainable development, what goals are being pursued and whether there are relevant issues that have been overlooked. With minimal use of resources, sustbl enables efficient management of the urban development process. It integrates seamlessly into existing structures and responsibilities, leaving the responsibility and implementation of urban development to the relevant actors. sustbl allows a central administrative body to coordinate the development process without creating conflicts of competence. With sustbl, all stakeholders work smoothly together to achieve common goals.

Why do we need sustbl?

With the help of sustbl, the city or municipality can digitally map its development process and visualise development goals and measures in a comprehensible and traceable way. Who does what, for what and why? With sustbl, cities and municipalities can write their own sustainable history, share it with society and motivate it to add new chapters.

The central challenge of our time is to sustainably reduce the pressure on ecosystems in order to preserve a future worth living. Cities and towns are particularly well placed to initiate the necessary developments. This is where our daily lives take place. This is where we leave a large part of our ecological footprint.

What is the strategy?

The use of sustbl should help to map sustainable urban development in a transparent way and at the same time increase the support and understanding of the population and political actors.

What does Gruner offer?

  1. Viewing the canton/city/municipality as a complex system
  2. The creation of a consistent process design
  3. Mapping the processes with the help of sustbl


What added value does sustbl generate for the city or municipality?

  • The climate or sustainability process as a comprehensible development story
  • Nobody starts from scratch - improve the existing sustainability processes
  • Governance through context management
  • Involve citizens, policy-makers & stakeholders in the process
  • Qualitative and quantitative process monitoring in real time
  • Basis for efficient reporting
  • Resource-efficient and flexible

What is the benefit for you?

sustbl makes the complexity of urban development accessible and creates an overview and comprehensibility for all stakeholders. In this way, the development of a city or municipality can be planned for the long term and the support of citizens and political actors can be increased in the many individual steps that are necessary on the way to a sustainable city.

A Gruner Software-as-a-service

Technical foundation:
  • Browser-based interface - always up-to-date, low costs
  • Central storage of all data (at the customer's or Gruner's choice)
  • Available across all systems
  • Tabular and graphical evaluations
Technical advantages:
  • Overview of the status and performance of sustainability projects
  • Improved work coordination
  • Cost certainty
  • Support tool for policy makers
  • Long-term knowhow transfer


Arrange a free appointment with  our sustainability management expert and developer of the sustainability management tool sustbl. Stephan Parlow has more than 10 years of experience in the field. Today he is Senior Expert and Head of Sustainability Consulting at Gruner and supports numerous cities and organisations in the implementation of sustainability strategies.

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