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

By 2050, 70 % of the world’s population will live in cities, making cities critical in achieving a sustainable future for the world. Businesses, together with Governments at various levels, and civil society organizations and citizens are collectively engaged in pursuing ambitious objectives to make cities more competitive, safe, resource-efficient, resilient and inclusive. Key areas of need in achieving progress on Goal 11 are; 1) identifying and agreeing the most sustainable ways to achieve the targets- what activities should be ceased and which ones accelerated; 2) building appropriate capacity and skills across these stakeholder groups to deliver; 3) attracting/securing finance, innovative designs and delivery models and projects for integrated city infrastructure– including buildings, energy, mobility, telecommunications, water, sanitation and waste management services, and; 4) ensuring practical processes for multi-stakeholder engagement in all stages of urban development that build consensus, inclusion, resilience and sustainability.

Businesses can help cities navigate these challenges and turn a high-level vision into practical and implementable action plans. Business can play a vital role not only in providing specific infrastructure, technology, services and financing solutions, but also in contributing to the strategy that will support the overall optimization of urban systems to create inclusive, safe, sustainable and disaster resilient cities. Cities seeking to realize their sustainability objectives can benefit from engaging with business early in the planning and strategy development process, leveraging the capability of business to identify innovative and cost-effective solutions to complex, cross-cutting urban sustainability challenges.

  • Access to affordable housing
  • Infrastructure investments
  • Sustainable transportation
  • Access to public spaces
  • Sustainable buildings

The below examples are non-exhaustive and some may be more relevant to certain industries than to others.

  • Jointly develop and/or participate in a sustainable community that brings together relevant stakeholders through a common and neutral platform to jointly analyze, discuss and act on urban functionality, resilience and sustainable development.
  • Use technological expertise to help build capacity of building owners to deliver solutions to improve energy efficiency in buildings and enable sound building management practices using good data about a building’s performance.
  • Collaborate with cities and governments to find solutions to future mobility needs that minimize environmental impact while making transportation safer and more affordable for all.
  • Reform private sector finance investment strategies to support integrated and sustainable urban development like sustainable urban transport, low-carbon buildings, and resilient infrastructure.
  • Invest in safe and sustainable infrastructure in the community and or city of operation, including lighting, transportation, alarm systems etc.
  • GRI G4 Sustainability Reporting Guidelines, G4-EC7: Development and impact of infrastructure investments and services supported
  • GRI G4 Event Organizers Sector Disclosures, EO2: Modes of transport taken by attendees as a percentage of total transportation, and initiatives to encourage the use of sustainable transport options
  • GRI G4 Airport Operators Sector Disclosures, AO7: Number and percentage change of people residing in areas affected by noise
  • GRI G4 Oil and Gas Sector Disclosures, OG12: Operations where involuntary resettlement took place, the number of households resettled in each and how their livelihoods were affected in the process
  • GRI G4 Construction and Real Estate Sector Disclosures, CRE8: Type and number of sustainability certification, rating and labeling schemes for new construction, management, occupation and redevelopment

The complete overview of business indicators can be found at Business Indicators

  • Impact Reporting & Investment Standards (IRIS)
  • Corporate Human Rights Benchmark (CHRB)

The complete overview of business tools can be found at Business Tools

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 capacities 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 affected people and decrease by y% the economic losses relative to GDP caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with the 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, municipal and other waste management

11.7 By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, particularly 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, increase by x% 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, develop and implement in line with the forthcoming Hyogo Framework holistic disaster risk management at all levels

11.c Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, for sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials