Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
The UN explains:
The challenges cities face can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty. The future we want includes cities of opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.
The UN has defined 10 Targets and 15 Indicators for SDG 11. Targets specify the goals and Indicators represent the metrics by which the world aims to track whether these Targets are achieved.
Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
11.1: By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums
11.2: 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
11.3: By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries
11.4: Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage
11.5: 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
11.6: 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
11.7: 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
11.a: Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning
11.b: 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
11.c: Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials
Cities are important as centres of business activity, providing companies with concentrated populations of potential customers and employees. Poorly designed cities put barriers in the way of doing business effectively; but a well-planned urban environment, with effective transport and reliable municipal services, reduces the costs of doing business and improves productivity.
Cities are economic powerhouses, generating more than 80% of global GDP. Over half of the world’s population live in urban areas, this will rise to two thirds by 2050. But there are downsides: social problems are concentrated in urban spaces, including extreme poverty, housing shortages and slum settlements; and they are centres of environmental degradation. Urban areas also have a crucial role to play in tackling climate change, as almost 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions come from cities.
What can business do? Carry out a social and environmental impact assessment. Put in place a community engagement strategy. Achieve a green building certification for your premises. Set and meet your transport emission and pollution reduction targets. Introduce home working.