In 1996 Hamburg signed the Aalborg-Charta. In March 1997 Harburg, one of Hamburg's southern districts, followed in Hamburg's footsteps.
The local parliament (Bezirksversammlung Harburg) passed a resolution on the implementation of a local Agenda 21 and termed it "HARBURG21".
The local Agenda 21 and the Aalborg Charter
On 27th of May 1994 the participants of the European Conference on Sustainable Cities and Towns in Aalborg/Denmark approved of the "Charter of European Cities & Towns Towards Sustainability" (Aalborg Charter).
The Charter stresses the fact that sustainable local communities are at the heart of human sustainability for two reasons: First, 80 percent of Europe's population live in urban areas and urban lifestyle is responsible for many environmental challenges we are facing today and tomorrow. Secondly, being rather close to the citizens and the perception of environmental problems, cities and towns are responsible for the well-being of humankind and nature and thus play a vital role in developing a green, equitable and viable way of life.
Accepting the mandate given to the local authorities by Agenda 21 (Chapter 28), the Aalborg Charter signatories joined the "European Sustainable Cities and Towns Campaign" (ESCTC) and pledged to get involved in local Agenda 21 processes. Each local authority is to work with their citizens, local organizations and businesses as key actors and develop a "local Agenda 21" (section I.13).
Agenda 21 groups in County Harburg
County Harburg reaches beyond the Hamburgian district of Harburg. It stretches into Lower Saxony. Today, there are two active local Agenda 21 groups in this area:
- Agenda 21 Tostedt (German Website)
- HARBURG21 - Local Sustainability Network