Culture as a driver for sustainable development, the need for more and better public spaces in cities, the business case for efficient waste management, and the role of digital technologies and networks in improving everything from transportation systems to air quality…. These are just a few of the conclusions highlighted in this synthesis report on the “urban Sustainable Development Goal”, Tracking Progress Towards Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements, prepared under the coordination of UN-Habitat with the participation of several UN custodian agencies, UN regional Economic and Social Commissions, civil society, academia, the European Commission, United Cities and Local Governments and various other stakeholders and partners.
In the words of UN-Habitat Executive Director Ms. Maimunah Modh Sharif:
“This synthesis report acknowledges the many existing and cross-cutting opportunities to achieve development goals through the transformative force that urbanization represents. However, in order to maximize this potential, there is a need to overcome various methodological challenges, for instance: the need to adopt a global definition for cities and urban areas for purposes of global monitoring, developing qualitative, quantitative and spatial analysis tools and approaches for monitoring the city, its neighbourhoods and places to ensure that no one is left behind; establishing new partnerships at the local, subnational, national and global levels to reinforce monitoring and finally, reporting mechanisms.”
The report has been published on the occasion of the annual summer meeting of High-level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations’ central platform for follow-up and review of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the SDGs. This year, the theme of the meeting is: “Transformation towards sustainable and resilient societies.” The programme will include a specific review of SDG 11 to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.