SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

What’s the goal here?

To make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.


The world is becoming increasingly urbanized. Since 2007, more than half the world’s population has been living in cities, and that share is projected to rise to 60 per cent by 2030.

Cities and metropolitan areas are power-houses of economic growth— contributing about 60 per cent of global GDP. However, they also account for about 70 per cent of global carbon emissions and over 60 per cent of resource use.

What are some of the most pressing challenges that cities face today?

Inequality is a big concern. Over 1 billion people live in slums and this number keeps rising. The levels of urban energy consumption and pollution are also worrying. Cities occupy just 3 per cent of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80 per cent of energy consumption and 70 per cent of carbon emissions. Many cities are also more vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters due to their high con-centration of people and location so building urban resilience is crucial to avoid human, social and economic losses.

What can I do to help achieve this goal?

Take an active interest in the governance and management of your city. Advocate for the kind of city you believe you need.

Develop a vision for your building, street, and neighbourhood, and act on that vision. Are there enough jobs? Can your children walk to school safely? Can you walk with your family at night? How far is the nearest public transport? What’s the air quality like? What are your shared public spaces like? The better the conditions you create in your community, the greater the effect on quality of life.