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| Goal 11: make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

The world is increasingly urbanized. Since 2007, more than half of the world's population lives in cities and that number is expected to increase to 60% by 2030.

Cities and metropolitan areas are economic growth powers, contributing around 60% of the world's GDP. However, they also account for around 70% of global carbon emissions and over 60% of resource use.

Rapid urbanization is resulting in an increasing number of people living in slums, inadequate and overburdened infrastructure and services (such as garbage collection and water and sanitation systems, roads and transportation), which is worsening air pollution and urban growth. uncontrolled.

The impact of COVID-19 will be most devastating in poor and densely populated urban areas, especially for 1 billion people living in informal settlements and slums around the world, where overcrowding also makes it difficult to comply with recommended measures such as social distancing and self-insulation.

The food agency of the United Nations, FAO, has warned that hunger and deaths could increase significantly in urban areas that lack measures to ensure that poor and vulnerable residents​​ have access to food.


Cities are at the forefront of the fight against the pandemic and its lasting effects. Around the world, COVID-19 is threatening cities and communities, jeopardizing not only public health but also the economy and the social fabric.

UN-Habitat, the United Nations agency for housing and urban development, is working with governments at the national and local levels to help them prepare for, prevent, respond to and recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. The UN-Habitat COVID-19 Response Plan aims to:

  • Support local government and community solutions in informal settlements.

  • Provides urban data, schemas and evidence-based insights to make informed decisions.

  • Mitigate economic impact and initiate recovery.

The normative and programmatic framework of UN-Habitat COVID-19 provides guidance for action at the global, regional and national levels.

The United Nations Economic Commission for Africa proposed specific support to municipal governments with the aim of mitigating and responding to the economic effects of COVID-19. African cities account for more than 50% of the region's GDP, and COVID-19 is likely to hit African cities hard with sharp drops in productivity, employment and income.


| Notable Data  

  • Half of humanity, 3.5 billion people, live in cities today, and that number is expected to increase to 5 billion by 2030.

  • 95% of urban land expansion in the coming decades will take place in the developing world.

  • Currently, 883 million people live in slums and the majority are in East and Southeast Asia.

  • The cities of the world occupy only 3% of the Earth, but they are responsible​​ for 60% to 80% of energy consumption and 75% of carbon emissions.

  • Rapid urbanization is putting pressure on freshwater supplies, wastewater, the environment and public health.

  • Since 2016, 90% of city residents have breathed air that did not meet World Health Organization safety standards, causing a total of 4.2 million deaths due to air pollution. More than half of the world's urban population has been exposed to levels of air pollution at least 2.5 times greater than the safety standard.

| Goal 11

11.1 By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and improve slums

11.2 By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems​​ for all and improve road safety, in particular by expanding public transport, paying special attention to the needs of people in vulnerable situations, women, children, people with disabilities and the elderly

11.3 By 2030, increase inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable planning and management​​ of human settlements in all countries

11.4 Redouble efforts to protect and safeguard the world's cultural and natural heritage

11.5 By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and people affected by disasters, including those related to water, and significantly reduce direct economic losses from disasters compared to global gross domestic product, with particular emphasis on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations

11.6 By 2030, reduce the per capita negative environmental impact of cities, 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 areas and public spaces, in particular for women and children, the elderly and people with disabilities

11.a Support positive economic, social and environmental linkages between urban, peri-urban and rural areas, strengthening national and regional development planning

11.b By 2020, significantly increase the number of cities and human settlements that adopt and implement integrated policies and plans to promote inclusion, efficient use of resources, mitigation and adaptation to climate change and resilience to disaster risk, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, comprehensive disaster risk management at all levels

11.c Provide support to least developed countries, including through technical and financial assistance, to enable them to build sustainable buildings​​ and resilient using local materials

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