Welcome to this e-course on the path to sustainable and resilient cities!
Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, productivity, culture, science, social development and much more. At their best, cities have enabled people to advance socially and economically. However, many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to enable economic growth and social development while not straining land and resources. Common urban challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure. The challenges cities face can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving efficiency of resource use and reducing pollution and poverty.
More than half of the world’s population now live in urban areas. By 2050, that figure will have risen to 6.5 billion people – two-thirds of humanity. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without significantly transforming the way we build and manage our urban spaces. Extreme poverty is often concentrated in urban spaces, and national and city governments struggle to accommodate the rising population in these areas. Making cities safe and sustainable means ensuring access to safe and affordable housing, enabling equitable economic development, and upgrading slum settlements. It also involves investment in public transport, technology, creating green public spaces, and improving urban planning and management in a way that is both participatory and inclusive.
SDG Goal 11 - to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable - is one of 17 Global Goals that make up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development which were adopted in September 2015. You can find out more about the targets for Goal 11 here.
This e-course includes five modules that provide an introduction to the crucial elements of sustainable and resilient cities for government and private sector leaders whose work is closely related to urban development or smart cities. Each module is structured to include the following:
• Issue: Presents a problem statement at the city level and highlights the need for change.
• Response: Presents a summary of the key elements to responding to key issues and approaches that may be applied to lead to more sustainable and resilient cities.
• What does this mean for you as a city practitioner?: Provides suggestions for applying the module’s content relevant to a practitioner working in the city (urban planner, government agency staff, sector specific staff or government leaders).
• Example: Presents a relevant example (or examples) in the urban context to demonstrate the application of the concepts within the module.