How one small city is mapping its future to the 2030 global goals



Cauayan City in the Philippines wants to be a poster child for the Sustainable Development Goals.

The city of 130,000, about 250 miles north of Manila, has laid out plans for education, healthcare, environmental restoration and sustainable infrastructure aligned with the 17 SDGs.

“We extended free access to medical, dental and oral care, maternal, child and environmental health, core shelters, feeding programs, livelihood, educational and financial assistance,” said the city’s mayor, Bernard Faustino Dy.

Cauayan City launched a “Smarter City Project” in partnership with the local university and businesses, which includes “e-tricycles with solar roofs.” Cauayan City, which calls itself the “First Fiber City in the Philippines,” offers free public wi-fi city-wide, and is connecting clinics for rural healthcare delivery.

Schools distribute school bags and supplies in all villages and new day-care centers are being built. City Hall ran an 18-day awareness campaign against violence against women and is promoting income-generating and livelihood programs for women.

The city’s name is an indigenous word for one of its longest-standing resources: bamboo, a robust and environmentally sustainable crop; Cauayan is capitalizing on it to boost local, sustainable agriculture and local trades.

“Countries all over the world are encouraged to adopt this set of goals as part of their respective development agenda,” Dy said. “That is precisely the reason Cauayan City took the lead and actively initiated the implementation of these goals in the local level.”

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