Henzler, Kristina; Maier, Stephanie; Jäger, Michael

The consideration of sustainability aspects is becoming increasingly important at municipal level in order to implement the SDGs. Some municipalities already have their own concepts for individual SDGs, such as climate protection (SDG 13). There are many fields of action in which municipalities can initiate changes to contribute to the SDGs. An important field of action is the municipal task of planning, building and maintaining urban areas and surfaces sustainably. However, as this topic is quite complex, there is a need for a guide for municipalities on how to conduct such a sustainability assessment. The authors provide a practical guideline for communities to evaluate the sustainability impacts of urban surfaces and their management processes. The guideline has been developed with special focus on its applicability and the reduction of the complexity of the topic for local actors. The authors present the guideline, describe the underlying methods and the five subsequent steps that can be followed by a community in order to conduct a sustainability assessment. First, the scope of the sustainability assessment is defined by classifying the municipal urban surfaces and their management processes and analyzing their relevance. Then, the sustainability of the prioritized surface and process is analyzed by selecting relevant indicators, identifying the life cycle phases and researching sustainability impacts in the phases for the thematic priorities. For each phase and indicator, relevant municipal areas of action are determined, selected ones further refined and possibilities for their implementation investigated. The guideline operationalizes the sustainability assessment methodology for the management of urban surfaces proposed by Henzler et al. (2020) which uses SDG-based indicators and life cycle thinking of LCA, considering the interaction between the life cycle of urban surfaces and their products.