Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

A look inside a camp for refugees on the outskers of Gaza City. Photo: Shareef Sarhan/UN

Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

More than half of the world’s population now live in urban areas. By 2050, that figure will have risen to 6.5 billion people – two-thirds of humanity. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without significantly transforming the way we build and manage our urban spaces.

The rapid growth of cities in the developing world, coupled with increasing rural to urban migration, has led to a boom in mega-cities. In 1990, there were ten mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more. In 2014, there are 28 mega-cities, home to a total 453 million people.

Extreme poverty is often concentrated in urban spaces, and national and city governments struggle to accommodate the rising population in these areas. Making cities safe and sustainable means ensuring access to safe and affordable housing, and upgrading slum settlements. It also involves investment in public transport, creating green public spaces, and improving urban planning and management in a way that is both participatory and inclusive.

Sustainable city life is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. An integrated approach is crucial for progress across the multiple goals.

Learn more about the targets for Goal 11.

Our work

Construction worker in Gaza
UNDP in Gaza
From a tent to a home in Gaza

With funding from the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques Campaign for the Relief of the Palestinian People, UNDP is constructing 100 housing units for families whose homes were demolished.more 

Waste removal project in Syria
UNDP in Syria
Emergency employment yields a healthier environment

Living in a hard-to-reach area of Aleppo, Mohammad and his family faced extremely difficult conditions due to the lack of basic goods, the ongoing violence, and the deterioration of health care.more 

Houses destroyed
UNDP in Bangladesh
Following up on cyclone recovery in Bangladesh

On May 25th, 2009, Cyclone Aila struck the southwest coastal zone of Bangladesh, destroying Bipasha Rani Mondol’s house and badly damaging her family’s garment shop.more 

City
UN in Pakistan
Bigger cities don’t have to mean bigger risks

The majority of the world’s population is urban, and it’s easy to understand why: Urban settings often offer better economic opportunities and better access to essential services.more 

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