With more than half the world's population living in cities, rapid urbanization has resulted in the increasing numbers of slum-dwellers—reaching one billion since the pandemic. Slum-dwellers predominantly reside in the regions of Eastern and Southeastern Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southern Asia. This is an environment that, for so many people, consists of inadequate infrastructure, poor air quality, lack of accessible clean water and sanitation, overcrowded and limited public transportation, few economic growth opportunities, and limited access to health care facilities. In slums, the quality of life is virtually nonexistent, and their impact on people is worsening. The process of improving city life for all is going to require coordination across the globe.

There is a long history of people relocating to cities in hopes of increased opportunities and a better life. With this continuing migration, we must create sustainable, safe, and inclusive cities for current and future generations. This urban development will require collective planning, management, and implementation by nations. Support is critical from nations with the financial capacity to help. With progress in motion, cities can become the safe havens they're meant to be—flourishing with opportunities, innovation, and sustainable development.

Targets & Indicators

When the UN General Assembly introduced the Sustainable Development Goals in 2015, they listed the targets that needed to meet for each goal. These targets break down what needs to be achieved to consider the goal completed. The UN Statistical Commission created the IAEG (International Agency and Expert Group) in 2017, which was tasked with creating the “indicators” for each target. These indicators were created to put measures in place to track the process being made on each target.

Targets and indicators were developed by the UN as a working blueprint for nations, organizations, and people to use when implementing SDGs in their everyday actions. Looking to the targets for the respected goal is the best way to execute the use of them in your work.


By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe, and affordable housing and basic services.
  1. 11.1.1 Proportion of Urban Population Living in Slums, Informal Settlements, or Inadequate Housing


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).
  1. 11.2.1 Proportion of Population That Has Convenient Access to Public Transport by Sex, Age, and Persons with Disabilities


By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated, and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries.
  1. 11.3.1 Ratio of Land Consumption Rate to Population Growth Rate
  2. 11.3.2 Proportion of Cities with a Direct Participation Structure of Civil Society in Urban Planning and Management That Operate Regularly and Democratically


Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage sites.
  1. 11.4.1 Total per Capita Expenditure on the Preservation, Protection, and Conservation of All Cultural and Natural Heritage Sites by Source of Funding (Public, Private), Type of Heritage (Cultural, Natural), and Level of Government (National, Regional, and Local/Municipal)


By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and people affected by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations.
  1. 11.5.1 Number of Deaths, Missing Persons, and Directly Affected Persons Attributed to Disasters per 100,000 Population
  2. 11.5.2 Direct Economic Loss in Relation to Global GDP, Damage to Critical Infrastructure, and Number of Disruptions to Basic Services Attributed to Disasters


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 services.
  1. 11.6.1 Proportion of Urban Solid Waste Regularly Collected and with Adequate Final Discharge Out of Total Urban Solid Waste Generated by Cities
  2. 11.6.2 Annual Mean Levels of Fine Particulate Matter in Cities (Population Weighted)


By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive, and accessible green and public spaces for all.
  1. 11.7.1 Average Share of the Built-Up Area of Cities That Is Open Space for Public Use for All by Sex, Age, and Persons with Disabilities
  2. 11.7.2 Proportion of Persons Victim of Physical or Sexual Harassment by Sex, Age, Disability Status, and Place of Occurrence in the Previous 12 Months


Support positive economic, social, and environmental links between urban, per-urban, and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning.
  1. 11.a.1 Number of Countries That Have National Urban Policies or Regional Development Plans That Respond to Population Dynamics; Ensure Balanced Territorial Development; and Increase Local Fiscal Space


By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans toward 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 2015Number of Countries That Adopt and Implement National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies in Line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–20302030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels.
  1. 11.b.1 Number of Countries That Adopt and Implement National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies in Line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015–2030
  2. 11.b.2 Proportion of Local Governments That Adopt and Implement Local Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies in Line with National Disaster Risk Reduction Strategies


Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials.

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