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© UN Photo / Kibae Park

What’s the goal here? healthcare, education— are projected
must be found in city life.
To make cities inclu- to live in
sive, safe, resilient What are some of the
and sustainable

most pressing challenges
that cities face today?
cities by
Half of humanity—3.5 bil-
lion people—live in cities
Inequality is a big concern.
833 million people live in
today, and this number slums and this number
will continue to grow. keeps rising. The levels of
Because the future will urban energy consumption
be urban for a majority and pollution are also wor-
of people, the solutions rying. Cities occupy just
to some of the greatest 3 per cent of the Earth’s
issues facing humans— land, but account for
poverty, climate change, 60-80 per cent of energy
consumption and 75 per
cent of carbon emis- life expectancy. By choos- • Take notice of what
sions. Many cities are also ing to act sustainably works, and what doesn’t
more vulnerable to cli- we choose to build cities in your community
mate change and natural where all citizens live a
• Advocate for the kind of
disasters due to their high decent quality of life, and
city you believe you need
concentration of people form a part of the city’s
and location so building productive dynamic, cre- • Develop a vision for
urban resilience is crucial ating shared prosperity your building, street,
to avoid human, social and social stability without and neighbourhood, and
and economic losses. harming the environment. act on that vision. Are
there enough jobs? Are
I live in a city but I’m Is it expensive to you close to healthcare?
not affected by any put sustainable Can your children walk
of these issues. Why practices in place? to school safely? Can
you walk with your
should I care? The cost is minimal in family at night? How
All these issues will even- comparison with the ben- far is the nearest public
tually affect every citizen. efits. For example, there transport? What’s the
Inequality can lead to is a cost to creating a air quality like? What
unrest and insecurity, pol- functional public transport are your shared public
lution deteriorates every- network, but the bene- spaces like? The better
one’s health and affects fits are huge in terms of the conditions you create
workers’ productivity and economic activity, quality in your community,
therefore the economy, of life, the environment, the greater the effect
and natural disasters have and the overall success on quality of life.
the potential to disrupt of a networked city.
To find out more
everyone’s lifestyles.
What can I do to help about Goal #11 and

What happens if achieve this goal? other Sustainable

Development Goals, visit:
cities are just left to • Take an active interest
grow organically? in the governance and
management of your city
The cost of poorly planned
urbanization can be seen
in some of the huge slums,
tangled traffic, green-
house gas emissions and
sprawling suburbs all over
the world. Slums are a
drag on GDP, and lower