Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Rapid population growth and urbanization has led to a significant increase in populations living in inadequate housing, often with no running water, shared toilets, and little or no waste management, as well as severely overcrowded public transport systems and minimal access to health care. The number of people living in these conditions, often referred to as ‘slums’, reached 1 billion in 2018. This represented 24% of the global Urban population with the largest populations being in Eastern and South-Eastern Asia (370 million), sub-Saharan Africa (238 million) and Central and Southern Asia (226 million). Rapid growth in these populations has led to overburdened infrastructure and services in those areas and significant degradation in air quality.  Below are some other statistics related to Goal 11 from the United Nations;

  • As of 2018, only 50% of the world’s urban population had convenient access to public transportation (within 500 meters from low-capacity transport and 1,000 meters from high-capacity transport)
  • In 2016, air pollution caused 4.2 million premature deaths
  • Over 90% of COVID cases are in urban areas, leaving those living in slums at high risk both physically and financially
  • Based on 2019 data from 610 cities land allocated to to streets and open spaces, both of which are critical to the productivity of those cities and the mental and social health of the inhabitants, averaged roughly 17% globally, with streets accounting for roughly 3x that of open public spaces. The share of the population with convenient access to these open spaces (within 400 meters) was only 47%
  • Since 2007, over half of the world’s population has lived in urban areas. That figure is expected to increase to 60% by 2030 and 70% by 2050
  • Urban areas represent just 3% of land globally, but contribute roughly 60% to the global GDP, account for 70% of global carbon emissions, and 60% of resource use
  • 95% of future urban expansion is expected to happen in the developing world
  • For more statistics related to Sustainable Cities and Communities, please see the Goal 11 Progress site here

Goal 11 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 urbanization 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 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
  • 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, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, 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

This Month’s Challenge:

In December 2020, we are sharing more datasets thanks to our friends at the Centre for Humanitarian Data.  Links to a number of datasets from the Humanitarian Data Exchange related to sustainable cities can be found on our data.world site here.  And as always, we are sharing Goal related data from the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goal Database, with regional data on all of the targets listed above.

If you would like participate, you can use data from any source, but the overall goal is to focus your analysis on some of the topics mentioned in the Targets section above.  If you come across other interesting datasets, please let us know so we can add them to our data.world project.  The deadline for submission will be December 31, 2020. Make sure to tag us in your submission, add the #TheSDGVizProject hashtag, and add your submission to #TheSDGVizProject tracker.

As we mentioned on our Home page, building a viz is not the only way to participate.  Our main goal is to spread awareness, so if you see a viz with #TheSDGVizProject, please share it.  And keep an eye out for a post at the end of the month with ways that you can contribute to this month’s goal.


Global SDG Indicators Database

Goal 11 Progress

Goal 11: Cities