Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Series: Goal 11

Goal 11


Goal Eleven: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable


SDG Eleven accounts for the increasing size of the global urban population with an emphasis on sustainability in cities, but maintains breadth by also recognizing the importance of human settlements in general. According to the World Bank, 37% of people in Sub-Saharan Africa live in urban areas and this number is only growing.


One of the more interesting targets included in this goal is 11.7, calling for universal access to green public spaces for the population. This is a less conventional concept to include than say, target 11.1 calling for access to housing for all, which makes its potential implementation interesting for a continent such as Africa. There are numerous national parks in the continent, but these don’t seem to fit the description of the target, which implies something more along the lines of Central Park in New York City, which are far less common. The question with such a target is how important is it for Africa to implement when compared to other aspects of this goal, as well as the rest of the SDGs.


Proposed Targets:

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 urbanzation 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 economic losses relative to 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, develop and implement, in line with the forthcoming Hyogo Framework, 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

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