United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development

Poland and Romania

„Sustainable cities and human settlements, sustainable transport”
Thank you Mr. Co-chair,
I will speak on behalf of Romania and Poland.
Humanity is now half urban and is expected to be nearly 70 % urban by 2050. The majority of the population growth is the result of the rural – urban migration which is mostly taking place in cities in developing countries, most notably in Africa and Asia.
During the next two decades the world will be more than double the amount of land used for cities. It will have a negative effect on the agricultural land, ecosystems, environment, climate (a rise in the energy consumption and green gas emissions and waste production) and the use of natural resources. It will also lead to the segregation of marginalized socioeconomic groups especially poor people, people living with HIV/AIDS, ethnic groups, migrants and LGBT.
These excluded groups, very often slum dwellers (one billion, one third of the population of the developing world) experience very poor housing conditions (lack of durable housing and secure tenure, insufficient living spaces) and lack of access to basic services like: adequate clean water, sanitation, personal security. Moreover they suffer from the lack of access to health, adequate food, education, employment opportunities, decent transport, credits and justice. Among them in particular women, girls, children and youth are even more vulnerable and exposed to discrimination, harassment and violence in public and private space.
Exposure to pollutants and living in areas contaminated by industrial waste, heavy traffic are highly correlated to mortality of children. Vulnerability to natural disasters, climate change (sea level rise) and geological hazards due to the cities density, geological location (coastal areas) can result in displacement of populations or migrations.
The report of the Secretary General’s High Level Panel on the post- 2015 development Agenda states that “Cities are where the battle for sustainable development can be won or lost”. In order to improve the lives in cities we need holistic sustainable urban development approaches. It is crucial to prepare the integrated urban planning including i.a. resource efficiency, climate and risk management, sustainable transport, energy, sustainable production and consumption, sustainable and inclusive economic growth and infrastructure development. This requires the national, regional and local innovation solutions beyond administrative boundaries, multi - stakeholder approach that engages the private sector, civil society and accountable local authorities.
The future SDGs on sustainable cities would encompass interlinkages with the other thematic areas from the RIO+20 Outcome Document, such as: employment, food security and nutrition, population dynamics, water and sanitation, infrastructure, energy, good governance, transport, sustainable consumption and production. The separate goal dedicated to sustainable cities should promote cities that are environmentally friendly, socially inclusive, economically resilient.
Cities are one of the important cross cutting areas which should be reflected in the following targets:
 Eradication of urban extreme poverty;
 Food security and nutrition;
 Protection of climate and biodiversity;
 Sustainable management of natural resources;
 Reducing urban sprawl and proportion of people living in slums;
 Ensuring universal access to basic urban services: adequate housing, fresh water, sanitation, waste management, law-carbon energy (safe air quality), energy-efficient infrastructure and transport, green space as well as health care and education;
 Reducing rate of urban violent crime;
 Promotion of job creation in particular for youth and women;
 Promotion of sustainable consumption and production;
 Promotion of local and regional governance, participatory decision making (resilience, population data and planning)
 Preservation of the cultural heritage
Transport is a key driver for poverty reduction and social inclusion (provide mobility for all groups in a society) and is central to the development in rural and urban areas and thus to the poverty eradication, inclusive economic growth and improvement of the life quality (access to work, goods including food, services, education and healthcare).
We can identify some important targets for the future SDG on transport:
 Increase the number of people with access to affordable, quality mass transit (in particular poor people, children and people with disabilities) – an integrated mass transit system;
 Adequate, all-weather road infrastructure for the rural population;
 Promote an environmental friendly transport system in order to reduce the air pollution within WHO limits (low sulfur standards and progressive vehicles standards reducing harmful emissions). This can also contribute to the improvement of the air quality and population health and well-being.
 Reduce road accidents and fatalities among pedestrian, young and vulnerable people by introducing cost effective solutions as: better designed roads, facilities for non-motorized transport users or enforcement of strict speed regulations and seat belts.
Thank you very much!