Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities
The number of people living in cities is growing by two per cent a year globally, and urban areas are having a hard time keeping up in terms of infrastructure, amenities and participatory governance Cities can be a powerful force for sustainable progress, benefiting from economies of scale and planning. But many cities are growing too fast to be officially planned, and migrants are doing their own planning, with limited means, moving into cramped and flimsy housing in slums and shanty-towns. These offer neither secure legal tenure nor safe access to water and sanitation. More than half of sub-Saharan Africa’s urban dwellers live in slums, and in some countries that percentage is increasing. City governments must work with the dwellers of such neighbourhoods to make the best of self-organised development and to rapidly improve the worst. They will need to manage the air pollution and waste that make many rapidly growing cities unhealthy and life-threatening. Another urgent task is to agree on what constitutes a city. Different countries and organisations have different numerical limits, so there is no agreed international definition as to what urban means.