United NationsDepartment of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Targets and Indicators



By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums


Proportion of urban population living in slums, informal settlements or inadequate housing



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


Proportion of population that has convenient access to public transport, by sex, age and persons with disabilities



By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries


Ratio of land consumption rate to population growth rate


Proportion of cities with a direct participation structure of civil society in urban planning and management that operate regularly and democratically



Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage


Total per capita expenditure on the preservation, protection and conservation of all cultural and natural heritage, by source of funding (public, private), type of heritage (cultural, natural) and level of government (national, regional, and local/municipal)



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


Number of deaths, missing persons and directly affected persons attributed to disasters per 100,000 population


Direct economic loss in relation to global GDP, damage to critical infrastructure and number of disruptions to basic services, attributed to disasters



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


Proportion of urban solid waste regularly collected and with adequate final discharge out of total urban solid waste generated, by cities


Annual mean levels of fine particulate matter (e.g. PM2.5 and PM10) in cities (population weighted)



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


Average share of the built-up area of cities that is open space for public use for all, by sex, age and persons with disabilities


Proportion of persons victim of physical or sexual harassment, by sex, age, disability status and place of occurrence, in the previous 12 months



Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, per-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning


Number of countries that have national urban policies or regional development plans that (a) respond to population dynamics; (b) ensure balanced territorial development; and (c) increase local fiscal space



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


Number of countries that adopt and implement national disaster risk reduction strategies in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030


Proportion of local governments that adopt and implement local disaster risk reduction strategies in line with national disaster risk reduction strategies



Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials

Progress and Info

Before the pandemic, cities had rising numbers of slum dwellers, worsening air pollution, minimal open public spaces and limited convenient access to public transport. The direct and indirect impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic are making it even more unlikely that this Goal will be achieved, with more people forced to live in slums, where quality of life is deteriorating and vulnerability increasing.

The number of slum dwellers has continued to grow over the years, exceeding 1 billion in 2018. Slum dwellers are most prevalent in the three regions of Eastern and South-Eastern Asia (370 million), sub-Saharan Africa (238 million) and Central and Southern Asia (226 million).

According to data from 2019 for 610 cities in 95 countries and territories, about half of the urban population has convenient access to public transport, defined as living within a walking distance of 500 metres to low-capacity transport systems, such as buses or trams, and 1,000 metres to high-capacity systems, such as trains and ferries. As a result of the COVID-19 response measures imposed in countries and territories throughout 2020, access to public transport in cities worldwide was significantly disrupted, from partial closures and reduced capacities to total closure of networks.

Data collected for a sample of 911 cities from 114 countries and territories in 2020 indicate that between 1990 and 2019, spatial urbanization occurred at a much faster rate than population growth, and smaller cities were being urbanized more quickly than their larger counterparts. On average, all regions except sub-Saharan Africa and Eastern and South-Eastern Asia recorded a consistent increase in built-up area per capita, with the highest values in Australia and New Zealand.

Data on a sample of 911 cities from 114 countries and territories indicate that the share of urban area allocated to streets and open public spaces averaged only about 16 per cent globally in 2020, well below the allocation recommended by United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) of 30 per cent for streets and an additional 10 to 15 per cent for open public spaces.

As of March 2021, 156 countries and territories have developed national urban policies, almost half of which are already at the implementation stage. Of these countries and territories, 38 per cent are in the early stages of plan development, while 13 per cent are monitoring and evaluating the performance of their plans.

Source: Progress towards the Sustainable Development Goals – E/2021/58