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United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs Sustainable Development
Topics

Sustainable cities and human settlements

Description

Human settlements

Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social, human and economic development. Urban planning, transport systems, water, sanitation, waste management, disaster risk reduction, access to information, education and capacity-building are all relevant issues to sustainable urban development.

In 2008, for the first time in history, the global urban population outnumbered the rural population. This milestone marked the advent of a new 'urban millennium' and, by 2050, it is expected that two-thirds of the world population will be living in urban areas. With more than half of humankind living in cities and the number of urban residents growing by nearly 73 million every year it is estimated that urban areas account for 70 per cent of the world's gross domestic product and has therefore generated economic growth and prosperity for many.

Given the importance of this topic to global development efforts, recent movements pushing to address sustainable development from an urban perspective have taken place throughout the world. Results from this movement can be seen in the inclusion of a stand-alone goal on cities and urban development in the 2030 Agenda, Sustainable Development Goal 11, "make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable". There is also recognition of the cross-cutting nature of urban issues, which have an impact on a number of other Sustainable Development Goals, including SDGs 1, 6, 7, 8, 9, 12, 15, and 17, among others. UN-Habitat's complementary New Urban Agenda, adopted as the outcome document from the Habitat III Conference in 2016, seeks to offer national and local guidelines on the growth and development of cities through 2036.

Prior to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, Millennium Development Goal 7, target 11, made a call for efforts to achieve, "a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million slum dwellers" by 2020.

Sustainable human settlements development was also discussed at the second and third sessions of the Commission on Sustainable Development. "Promoting sustainable human settlements development" is the subject of Chapter 7 of Agenda 21, which calls for 1) providing adequate shelter for all; 2) improving human settlements management; 3) promoting sustainable land-use planning and management; 4) promoting the integrated provision of environmental infrastructure: water, sanitation, drainage and solid waste management; 5) promoting sustainable energy and transport systems in human settlements; 6) promoting human settlements planning and management in disaster-prone areas; 7) promoting sustainable construction industry activities; and 8) promoting human resource development and capacity-building for human settlements development.

Paragraph 89 of the 2030 Agenda calls on major groups and other stakeholders, including local authorities, to report on their contribution to the implementation of the Agenda. Local and regional governments have a wealth of valuable experience in the "localization" of the 2030 Agenda, where they provide leadership in the mobilization of a wide range of stakeholders, the facilitation of "bottom-up" and inclusive processes, and the formation of multi-stakeholder partnerships.

For more information and documents on this topic, please visit this link

Displaying 31 - 45 of 55
Title Type Date
Safe Cities for Women and Girls Additional Resources 18-Nov-2013
TST Issues Brief: Sustainable cities and human settlements Technical Support Team (TST) Issues Briefs 29-Oct-2013
Aide Memoire - High-Level Symposium on Sustainable Cities and Sustainable Urbanisation Other documents 24-Oct-2013
Special Event on Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements at the core of the Sustainable Development… Other documents 18-Sep-2013
A /68/202 - A life of dignity for all: accelerating progress towards the Millennium Developmen t Goals and advancing… Secretary-General Reports 18-Jul-2013
Concept Note on Panel Discussion on Migration and Sustainable Development Other documents 23-Apr-2013
Flyer on Panel Discussion on Migration and Sustainable Development Other documents 23-Apr-2013
Background Paper: Patterns and Trends in Migration and Sustainable Development Other documents 23-Apr-2013
Programme for Panel Discussion on Migration and Sustainable Development Logistics 23-Apr-2013
UN-HABITAT - Urbanization, wetlands and ecosystem services – a nexus we ignore at our peril Other documents 1-Feb-2013
UN-HABITAT - Urban and peri-urban agriculture and forestry as a strategy for climate change adaptation… Other documents 1-Feb-2013
UN-HABITAT - Sustainable cities in post-2015 UN development agenda Other documents 1-Feb-2013
Cluster 1: Cities Other documents 28-Aug-2012
Announcement of Special Evening Event on Human Settlement (English) Other documents 4-Jun-2012
Announcement of Special Evening Event on Human Settlement (Portuguese) Other documents 4-Jun-2012

Paragraph 89 of the 2030 Agenda calls on major groups and other stakeholders, including local authorities, to report on their contribution to the implementation of the Agenda. Local and regional governments have a wealth of valuable experience in the "localization" of the 2030 Agenda, where they provide leadership in the mobilization of a wide range of stakeholders, the facilitation of "bottom-up" and inclusive processes, and the formation of multi-stakeholder partnerships.

Please follow this link to see a list of reports from local authorities.