SDG 11

Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable
The elevents Sustainable Development Goal (SDG)

Sustainable Cities & Communities

Aims to “Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable”.

Let's learn a little more about SDG 11.

  • Targets 10 Targets
  • Campaigns 4 Campaigns
  • Pledges 2470 Pledges
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  • Reading Material 18 Reading Material
  • Quiz 6 Quiz
  • Overview
  • Facts & Figures
  • Targets

Why Is It Important To Make Cities Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable?

With over half of humanity living in cities and urbanisation further expected to grow in the coming years, addressing vital issues of development and sustainability within cities is an urgent need. Here, SDG 11 focuses on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable. 

In his 2016 Peace Proposal SGI President Daisaku Ikeda highlights the role that cities can play in addressing key sustainability issues:

“I would like to propose that the world's cities work together in paving the way toward promoting the goals set out in the Paris Agreement. Although the world's cities only occupy 2 percent of the Earth's land area, they account for 75 percent of carbon emissions and more than 60 percent of energy consumption. While this means that cities' environmental footprint is disproportionately large, it also reflects the reality that if cities change, the world will change.”


Because of their high concentrations of population many cities are also very vulnerable to natural c...

Because of their high concentrations of population many cities are also very vulnerable to natural calamities, social unrest etc. Since 2008, over half of the world’s population has been living in urban environments and that share is set to rise to 60 percent by 2030. One of the key driving forces behind this increase has been the fact that cities are the engines of economic growth, contributing about 70 percent to the global GDP. 

The rapid urbanisation, however, has also become a source for intensifying inequalities and environmental challenges, leading to growth in urban slums, inadequate and overburdened infrastructure like roads, transport, waste collection, water and sanitation systems and worsening air pollution. According to estimates by the United Nations, over 1 billion people live in slums today and with over 90 percent of urban growth forecasted to happen in Asia and Africa in the next 30 years, there is an urgent requirement to create sustainable urban spaces, especially in developing countries.

Although the challenges emanating from the growth of cities and urban settlements are immense and pose multiple obstacles to the achievement of SDGs, there is also great opportunity for innovative solutions. Due to their density, urban spaces present great opportunities to create synergies between the economy, environment and social benefits. 


SGI President Daisaku Ikeda particularly places emphasis on individual action. In his 2011 Peace Pro...

SGI President Daisaku Ikeda particularly places emphasis on individual action. In his 2011 Peace Proposal, he writes:

“The confidence and joy of knowing that our daily action, dialogue and engagement are moving the world in a better direction--this unleashes hitherto unimagined energy and power from within people's lives. We are moved by the knowledge that each of the world's seemingly ordinary individuals can be a protagonist in the creation of a new era. No force can match that of a fundamental transformation in the human spirit.”


What Progress Has Been Made So Far In Terms of Making Cities Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable?

  • Decrease in the proportion of urban population living in slums globally by 20% between 2000 and 2014 (28% to 23%).
  • 150 countries have developed national urban plans, with nearly half of those in the implementation phase. 
  • In most regions, between 2001 and 2014, there has been a rise in the number of people using public transport by nearly 20%.

How Can I As An Individual Apply Sustainable Human Behaviour To Achieve These Targets For SDG 11 To Help Achieve The Goal Of Sustainable Cities & Communities?

  • Initiate community activities to build a sense of belonging and vibrancy.
  • Take active interest in building your community the way you want it to be.
  • Make sure you follow all sustainable practices in your own home.
  • A simple step like waste segregation in households and composting of organic waste in cities can lead to multiple benefits in terms of reduced energy use for transportation, encourage growth of green areas in local societies, reduce air, land and water pollution from landfill sites as well as lead to reduce the use of virgin material in production.
  • Improved urban transport based on green technology leads to improving air quality and health outcomes, better economic activity through efficient movement of people and increased social interaction.
  • Try to use public transport wherever possible, or carpool or walk, to reduce pollution. 
  • Preserve the green spaces in your community by ensuring no littering and no vandalising.
  • Practice waste segregation at home, at the workplace and in your community.
  • Ensure our personal vehicles are well serviced to keep emissions at a minimum.

Did You Know These Facts About SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities & Communities?

  • 3.5 Billion

    Half of humanity – 3.5 billion people – lives in cities today and 5 billion people are projected to live in cities by 2030.

  • 95%

    95 percent of urban expansion in the next decades will take place in developing world.

  • 828 Million

    828 million people live in slums today and most them are found in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia.

  • 3%

    The world’s cities occupy just 3 percent of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80 percent of energy consumption and 75 percent of carbon emissions.

  • 60-80%

    Cities account for between 60 and 80 percent of energy consumption and generate as much as 70 percent of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions.

  • 90%

    90 percent of urban growth is forecasted to happen in Asia and Africa in the next 30 years.

  • 70%

    By 2050, 70 percent of the world population is predicted to live in urban settlements.

Targets For SDG 11 – Sustainable Cities & Communities Set By The United Nations

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

    Target 11.1
  • 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.

    Target 11.2
  • By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries.

    Target 11.3
  • Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage.

    Target 11.4
  • 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.

    Target 11.5
  • 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.

    Target 11.6
  • 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.

    Target 11.7
  • Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning.

    Target 11.A
  • 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.

    Target 11.B
  • Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials.

    Target 11.C

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