SDGs in focus: SDG 11 and interlinkages with other SDGs – Sustainable cities and communities
Thursday, 13 July 2023 | 10:10 AM - 1 PM Eastern Standard Time
Official In-Person (not Virtual) Meeting at the 2023 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF) in Conference Room 4, UN Headquarters, New York
The quality of urbanization is central to determining people’s quality of life in today’s urban world. At the individual level, people’s ability to pursue healthy, productive and peaceful lives is directly tied to where they live and what those spaces have to offer. Globally, the quality of urbanization to a large degree determines whether we achieve the SDGs. As the world’s population reached the 8-billion mark in November 2022, 55 percent of people lived in cities. By 2050, two out of every three people are likely to be living in cities or other urban centres, highlighting the need for more sustainable urban planning, enhanced service provision and mitigation of adverse environmental and climate impacts, among others.
Since SDG 11 was last reviewed in 2018, the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts and climate change have exacerbated many urban challenges. But the pandemic also brought many lessons learned and drastically changed our relationship with our streets, public spaces and public facilities. Innovation and the use of digital tools in many places enabled local governments and partners to design new policies and services that are more inclusive, agile, and scalable.
This session will explore lessons learned in navigating challenges brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic, conflicts and climate change, and assess what changes should be retained and amplified. The session will also discuss what are the high impact solutions in governance, digitalization, service provision and other policy spheres that could be scaled up to accelerate progress towards SDG 11.
Proposed guiding questions:
- What can be learned from the experience of local governments in crisis response and working towards recovery and resilience? How can we ensure that we leave no one and no community behind?
- How can cities and communities navigate the intersecting challenges of COVID-19, conflicts, climate change impacts, inequality and other challenges?
- What steps are being taken to promote managed density, regulate urban expansion, and reduce rural-urban land conversion?
- How can cities reduce carbon emissions and adapt to climate change? How can local municipalities and cities build resilience?
- What are some high-impact solutions in effective governance, digitalization, service provision and other policy spheres that could be scaled up to accelerate progress towards SDG 11?
- H.E. Mr. Albert Ranganai Chimbindi, Vice President of ECOSOC (Zimbabwe)
- Highlights of the report of the Secretary-General (special edition) on progress towards the SDGs – SDG 11 on sustainable cities and communities Mr. Sokunpanha You, Statistics Division of UN DESA Interactive panel discussion Moderator:
- Mr. Stefano Marta, Coordinator, Territorial Approach to SDGs, Centre for Entrepreneurship, SMEs, Regions and Cities of OECD
- Ms. Maimunah Mohd Sharif, Executive Director of UN-Habitat
- Ms. Debra Roberts, Head of the Sustainable and Resilient City Initiatives Unit in eThekwini Municipality, Durban, South Africa, IPCC Co-Chair of Working Group II
- Mr. António Vitorino, Director General of the International Organization for Migration, Coordinator of the UN Network on Migration
- Ms. Maruxa Cardama, Secretary General, Partnership on Sustainable, Low Carbon Transport (SLoCaT) Lead Discussants:
- Mr. Marc Workman, CEO of World Blind Union
- Mr. Paul Stout, content creator of TikTok account TalkingCities, USA, youth speaker Ministerial
- H.E. Ms. Nikolina Brnjac, Minister for Tourism and Sport, Croatia
Interventions of other Ministers and participants (3 minutes each)