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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. 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. 

This e-course is ideal for government leaders and private sector leaders whose work is closely related to urban development or smart cities. 



The following are the five thirty-minute modules of this e-course that you can take at your own convenience. 

Module 1: Essentials of sustainable and resilient cities

This module provides a brief overview of the key approaches to overcoming the serious environmental and social problems impacting Asian cities, and the pathways to transition to sustainable and resilient cities. Module 1 also introduces you to the principal components of “sustainability” and “resilience” in the context of cities, and the interrelationship of these concepts.

Module 2: Planning for sustainable and resilient cities

This module provides an introduction to approaches to planning processes in the city context to ensure that the planning process functions as an effective instrument for sustainable urban change. Module 2 asserts the importance of establishing a long term vision that embodies sustainability, and also introduces the principles for resilience planning to embed in the city strategic planning process. Module 2 also introduces the crucial role that community – led planning takes in building resilience in cities.

Module 3: Leveraging technology for sustainable and resilient cities

This module explores the critical aspects of leveraging technology to contributing to and promoting sustainable and resilient cities. Module 3 introduces the need for city governments to consider digital infrastructure as part of the city’s critical infrastructure networks and to consider the designing with digital technologies for the delivery or redesign of existing services. This module introduces the potential for governments to apply technology to engage effectively with citizens and the private sector to encourage participation in decision making and enable the city to be better equipped to understand and respond to shocks and stresses, including those associated with climate change.

Module 4: Climate and disaster proofing cities

This module highlights that it is essential for decision making bodies to strengthen their capacity in integrated decision making by incorporating climate change, disaster risk and resilience thinking into their planning, design and engineering construction standards. Module 4 also asserts the need to employ strategies that focus on the adaptive capacity of systems and individuals to reduce vulnerability including both initiatives for physical infrastructure and non-physical infrastructure.

Module 5: Financing sustainable cities

This module explores opportunities for financing interventions that support the transition towards more sustainable and resilient cities. Module 5 highlights that a series of sources of revenue should be considered to be mobilized to support building sustainable and resilient cities, including private sector finance.