This study investigated the level of perception and understanding of local government staff about environmental sustainability tools and implementations in the city of Istanbul in Turkey. It employed qualitative methods and the data was collected via interview method. The study adapted Bostancı’s eco-municipality researches to investigate sustainability tools of municipalities in Turkey. According to this research, issues such as LA 21’s appendage as city councils, strategies of directory of environment, sustainable urban planning, green transportation, waste management, urban transformation, renewable energy projects, social activities, green certified public buildings and energy productivity projects were evaluated by the municipal staff whether the issues were sufficient or insufficient. The qualitative findings indicated that strategy-based implementations such as sustainable planning, participator policies, and laws were more successful than project-based implementations such as renewable energy projects, green transportations etc. In addition, some evidences show that staff of local governments knew the importance of sustainability but there is some lack of practices. From the findings, this approach supports the argument that each local government should have their own Local Agenda 21 program. Also, the study offers local governments to keep guidance of International Conference on Language, Education and Innovation (ICLEI) and LA 21 program for sustainable development in the long-term. With the findings, the study can be a good sample for the municipality which has been following LA 21 program for a long time.
Key words: Local governments, municipality, environmental sustainability, sustainable development, Local Agenda 21, Istanbul-Turkey.