“Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable,” United Nations
Cities are a place of growth and development, where 3.5 billion people in our world reside, and from where much of the worlds innovation springs from. Cities are the places where things happen first-ideas, infrastructure, technology, creativity and many more important elements that provide us with culture and progression. However they are also places where we see some of the highest levels of homelessness, pollution and crime. For the world to progress in the successful and peaceful way that the SDGs are hoping for then cities need to be focused on so that they can spread positive changes to rural areas rather than destructive changes, as well as improving life for those billions of people living a city life.
If you look at all of the 17 SDGs you can see that almost three quarters of them have a very direct impact on city life and its improvements, such a gender equality, reduced inequalities, education, hunger, clean water and sanitation, good health and well being, decent work and economic growth, affordable and clean energy, industry innovation and infrastructure, responsible consumption and production, climate action, and finally peace, justice and strong institutions. So whilst when you first read the description of Goal 11 it might not stand out as one of the most important of the SDG goals, it is in fact incredibly important because it embodies so much of what needs to be changed by 2030.
1. By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums
2. By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons
3. By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
4. By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations
5. By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management
6. By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities
Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
7. By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels
8. Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials
If you would like to read more about Goal 11, its targets and progress so far then please visit UN Org.