Good Practices

Sustainability Café

Community Foundation Habitat Aachen

ABOUT the CF: Our community foundation has been established in 2005 and we are an ideologically and politically independent platform for civic engagement. Our foundation encourages people to engage in local, social, cultural, environmental and educational projects based on our basic foundation aims which are: • Education and Training • Arts and Culture • Environment and Nature Conservation • Landscape Conservation and Monument Protection • Youth and Elderly Care • Health Care • International Understanding • Equality between Women and Men • Science and Research.

Together we stimulate a culture of mindfulness that strengthens our local society and the people in it. We support citizens and their ideas along our foundation goals. We grant start-up funding to help initiating their idea. On the long run project managers are encouraged to take responsibility to keep the project going through own fundraising activities. At the same time, we see our actions in a global context. That is why we are committed to the UN goals for sustainable development.

PROJECT TITLE: Sustainability Café

THE PROJECT DESCRIPTION: The Sustainability Café is a project for networking sustainable engagement in the city. The initiative is intended to be the central contact point for sustainability in Aachen. We want to create a place where initiatives can network with each other as well as citizens can exchange ideas with local initiatives, with the SDGs forming the basis of the project. In Aachen, there are already many organizations that (unconsciously) deal with the SDGs and work for a more sustainable city in many different ways. However, these organizations work mostly independently and sometimes even on the same or similar projects. With the Sustainability Café, we want to connect these organizations so that they can implement their projects more successfully and together, and to familiarize them with the SDGs.

The aim of the Sustainability Café is furthermore to address people in Aachen and bring them into contact with the more than 200 local initiatives that are dedicated to the topic of sustainability in a variety of ways. Topics related to sustainability in Aachen usually reach the same people, namely those who already work in the organizations or are involved with sustainability. With the Sustainability Café in the middle of the city center, we also want to reach people who have had little or no contact with the topic of sustainability or with local organizations. The project should promote interest in the sustainability goals, give people the opportunity to enter into exchange and discussion with each other, and demonstrate their own ability to act. We hope to motivate and support people to get involved themselves and to promote their social commitment, so that they get the passion and the opportunity to change their city positively and sustainably.

Our project includes activities and interactive events such as discussion rounds with citizens and workshops on various topics related to sustainability and participation, exhibitions or lectures by and with organisations in Aachen. We also organise networking events for the organisations and work on a Sustainability Route to connect important places of Sustainability in Aachen. Participation, tangibleness and direct interaction are the core of the concepts for our project. In addition, citizens can participate in the further development of the project by getting involved in the Sustainability Café team, actively developing ideas in the Café or starting their own projects in the community foundation.

SDG TARGETS: With the Sustainability Café we are trying to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable (SDG 11) and to strengthen the means of implementation for sustainable development through effective public, public-private and civil society partnerships (SDG 17). Furthermore, our project wants to empower and promote the social, economic and political inclusion of all, irrespective of age, sex, disability, race, ethnicity, origin, religion or economic or other status (SDG 10) and to ensure inclusive and equitable education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all (SDG 4). We also like to promote peaceful and inclusive societies in the spirit of sustainable development (SDG 16) and to ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature (SDG12).

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