Global Goals Report

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Sustainability Action Week 2017

Anya Smart
9th June 2017
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Sustainable Cities and Communities
Table of Contents

1. INTRODUCTION ..................................................................................................... 2
2. BACKGROUND ON ISSUE ....................................................................................... 3
2.1 ISSUE ..................................................................................................... 3, 4
2.2 STATISTICS ............................................................................................ 4, 5
3. GLOBAL GOAL 11: SUSTAINABLE CITIES ............................................................. 4
3.1 WHAT IS THE GOAL TRYING TO ACHIEVE .................................................... 5
3.2 WHAT SUB-TARGETS MAKE UP THE GLOBAL GOAL ............................... 5,6,7
3.3 RELATED MILLENNIUM DEVELOPMENT GOAL .......................................... 8
4. TAKING ACTION .................................................................................................... 9
4.1 WHAT ACTION CAN I TAKE? ......................................................................... 9
4.2 SUSTAINABILITY ACTION WEEK ................................................................. 9
4.3 MEASURING SUCCESS .......................................................................... 10,11
4.4 REFLECTING ON MY EXPERIENCES ........................................................... 11
5. CONCLUSION ....................................................................................................... 11
REFERENCES ............................................................................................................... 12

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The sustainable development goals (SDGs), also known as the global goals are a set
of goals that were collaboratively agreed on by UN member states. World leaders
adopted the ‘2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’ and the 17 sustainable
development goals and are expected to use these goals to frame their agendas and
political policies to end all forms of poverty, fight inequalities, tackle climate change
and ensure everyone enjoys peace and prosperity. These goals are the extension of
the millennium development goals (MDGs) which were agreed on by world leaders
in 2001 and were meant to be completed by the end of 2015. Most of these goals
were not completed, therefore a new set of goals were created to build on the
successes of previous goals.

The sustainable development goals aimed to be more specific and in-depth compared
to the millennium development goals as the targets are more specific. These goals
also include other priorities, some examples include climate change, sustainable
consumption, peace and justice and economic inequality. These sustainable
development goals aren’t legally binding and governments are required to take
ownership and establish agendas and political policies for the achievement of the

Sustainable development goals such as global goal 1 which is no poverty was
originally one of the millennium development goals, however it wasn’t fully achieved
and some of the issues related to the goal are still frequently occurring today. Global
goal 11 which is Sustainable Cities and Communities are new areas that need to be
achieved, however these goals are not directly linked to any of the millennium
Development Goals. These newer goals are more detailed and include targets that
specifically focused on that specific goal, meaning the sustainable development goals
will be more effective as they have been formulated with a lot more detail and have
more realistic and achievable targets compared to the millennium development

This report will be focusing on global goal 11, which is Sustainable Cities and
Communities and its targets, which millennium development goal it is related to
and the issues that are meant to be achieved by this goal.

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Currently, more than half of the world’s population lives in
urban areas and it is projected that 6 in 10 people will be
living in cities by 2030. Majority of people will be living in
urban areas; therefore, global goal 11 focuses on making
cities are in inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The
main issues that this goal focuses on are reducing poverty,
making sure everyone has access to basic services such as
energy, housing and transportation and reducing pollution.
Cities are hubs for ideas, interchanging of goods, services and
Global goal 11
transportation, culture and social development. Cites have
allowed humans to advance socially and economically and
with proper, sustainable urban planning, cities can become
sustainable incubators for innovation and growth.

However, currently extreme poverty is often found in urban areas due to the government
not being able to accommodate the rising population and the rapid urbanization is
putting pressure on cities’ water supplies, sewage systems, the environment and public
healthcare. Cities also have no funds to provide basic services to all citizens and have
challenges making sure cities are creating jobs and making sure governments aren’t
putting pressure on land and resources. Making these cities safe and sustainable would
ensure that the cites will continue to thrive in a sustainable manner, improve the
amount of resources used by the area, reducing poverty and pollution and making sure
everyone has access to the basic services. This would require investments in public
housing, transport and healthcare, creating green spaces and improving our urban
planning to make our cites sustainable.

Today, cities have to face pressing challenges such as inequality, urban consumption,
pollution, climate change and resilience to natural disasters and many more, Inequality
is a huge concern and in developing regions almost a third of the population live in
urban slums. In 2014, more than 880 million people were still living in slums, despite
there being a decline in urban dwellers living in slums. As more cities develop, urban
poverty is slowly becoming an issue and creates newer issues due to there being an
inadequate amount of resources to sustain those living in these urban areas. Problems
include not having access to uncontaminated water as governments either refuse or have
the lack of funds to invest in a water treatment systems and a proper water supply.
There is a lack of sanitation and garbage collection and if left uncared for can potentially
provoke epidemics.

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Pollution and climate change are also issues that needs to be addressed they affect
environmental and our health. In 2012, air pollution caused 3.7 million deaths
worldwide and half of the urban population are exposed to high levels of air pollution
that are 2.5 times above the safety standard. As urban population continues to rise,
unsustainable cities make a huge contribution to air pollution as cities produce 75% of
carbon emissions. Sources contributing to air pollution are emissions produced by
vehicles, industrial activities and power generation. These sources have a negative
health impact on the urban population. The particulate matter that is produced by these
sources enter the human body have an effect on the eyes, nose and throat and cause
chest tightness and breathing problems. This can also worsen lung and heart problems
and increasing the risk of heart attack.

The rapid growth of urban dwellers is also increasing the susceptibility to natural
disasters increases. Majority of cities are located in areas where earthquakes and floods
occur and urban land development is also leading to land degradation as well as the
destruction of swamps, wetlands and mangroves. Cities need to focus on preparing
citizens for the possibility of a natural disaster that could possibly occur and make sure
buildings and infrastructures are resilient to those natural disasters.

However, governments in developing regions don’t have the funds to build buildings that
are resilient or they are concentrated on funding relief efforts after the natural disaster
has occurred. These issues need to be addressed as cities are hubs for people seeking
opportunities and better lives, but these issues are quite difficult to be achieved in
developing regions due to lack of good governance, management process and lack of


This graph depicts the proportion of
the urban population living in slums
comparing results from 2000 to
results from 2014. The proportion has
significantly decreased.

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This graph depicts the
recommended air pollution
level compared to the air
pollution levels in certain
areas across various


The sustainable cities and communities goal is a difficult goal to achieve due to
there being a number of factors that need to be considered. As half the people
and is being aimed to be completed by 2030. The main achievement that this
goal is trying to complete is to make cities and human settlements inclusive,
safe, resilient and sustainable, however there are multiple targets that also have
to be completed to make sure that the goal is achieved.

The main target for this goal is to ensure that everyone has access to basic
services and quality, safe and affordable housing. Cities should provide safe,
affordable, sustainable transport systems that are also designed for the use by
children, women and venerable people. Another improvement to be made is to
engage communities in planning for the improvements of their cities as well as
prepare these communities to manage their resources in a sustainable manner.
Cities must also increase their efforts and be more resilient to natural disasters
as well as strengthen their efforts to protect the world’s natural and cultural
heritage, while monitoring waste management, air quality and tackle climate


Each of these sustainable development goals have their own sub-targets that help
structure specifically what the goal is trying to achieve. The sustainable cities and
communities goal has 10 sub-targets which organizes the issues that this goal is trying
to address. The sub-targets are:

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- By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and
basic services and upgrade slums.

This sub-target is aimed to make sure that everyone has safe, resilient housing as cities
in developing regions this issue is still prevalent in those countries. Those who live in
slums or other informal settlements will be upgraded to better living conditions and
have access basic services. Some examples of services are fresh water supplies, proper
functioning sewage systems and healthcare.

- 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.

The target is focusing on providing sustainable transportation systems such as buses
and railway systems that are affordable and convenient for use. This goal is aimed at
children, women, people with disabilities, the elderly and those in vulnerable situations
who should also be able to use the transportation systems safely. This goal also focuses
on improving road safety such as instilling traffic lights, road signs and other safety
measures to prevent accidents from occurring.

- By 2020, substantially increase 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, and develop and implement, holistic disaster risk management at all

- By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people
affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global
gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters,
with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations.

These targets are focusing on increasing the number of cities that are adopting and
implementing plans making sure that cities are using resources sustainably and
making sure governments aren’t putting pressure on land and resources. They are
also focused on reducing the number of deaths and those that are affected by natural
disasters that have occurred. Cities are developing and implementing risk
management for disasters to decrease the economic losses that are caused by natural
disasters and are focusing on protecting those in vulnerable situations.

- By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including
by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste

This target aims to reduce the environment impact of cities as cities account for
approximately 60-80% of the energy consumption worldwide. The target also focuses on
air quality as cities currently produce 75% of the world’s emissions as well as waste
management. These goals will help improve the air quality and reduce the levels of
particulate matter found in the air as cities all across the globe have high levels of
pollution that is 2.5 times above the safety standard.

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- By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for
participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and
management in all countries.

- Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban,
peri-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional
development planning.

These targets are aimed at strengthening urban planning and management at a
national and regional level. This goal also focuses on enhancing sustainable
urbanization making sure that cites aren’t continuing the way they currently run which
is unstainable and will cause massive problems. This will be done by integrating a
human settle planning and development planning.

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

The target asks developed countries that are willing to support lesser economically
developed countries by financially supporting them in building sustainable cities and
resilient buildings using materials found locally as governments in least developed
countries will have difficulties achieving this goal due to lack of funds and poor urban
planning by the government.

Other lesser important targets that this goal is trying to achieve is efforts to protect
world’s cultural and natural heritage as well as focusing on providing access to
accessible green spaces globally. These spaces must be safe and must take into
consideration that these areas are to be used by women, children, the elderly and people
with disabilities.


Majority of the sustainable development goals are related or built on the successes
of the millennium development goals, which as stated previously are goals that were
previously tried to be achieved by the end of 2015. However, majority of goals
weren’t achieved due to the goals being quite vague and unspecific and had
unrealistic targets that couldn’t have been achieved within the set timeframe.

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The millennium development goals have influenced the sustainable development
goals greatly, however there wasn’t a specific goal that was very similar to global
goal 11, but one of the eight millennium goals has impacted this sustainable
development goal and this millennium development goal is to ensure environmental

Millennium Development Goal 7 targets sustainable development
in countries to make reverse the loss of resources, reduce
biodiversity loss, reduce the population of those who don’t have
access to basic sanitation and clean drinking water and improve
the lives of a minimum of 100 million slum dwellers. The goals is
a lot less specific compared to any of the sustainable development
goals and are addressing four target in one goal, therefore having
a broader approach and making the goal harder to achieve within
the timeframe.

As previously stated before, the millennium development goals were
created in September 2000. Millennium development goal 7 which is
ensure environmental sustainability have similar areas of focus to
targets that have been set for sustainable development goal 11. Other target areas for
the millennium development goals 7 that resemble the sustainable cities and
communities are to:

- Integrate the principles of sustainable development into country policies and
programs and reverse the loss of environmental resources.

- Halve, by 2015, the proportion of the population without sustainable access to
safe, drinking water and basic sanitation.

- Achieve, by 2020, a significant improvement in the lives of at least 100 million
slum dwellers

These target areas relate more similarly to global goal 11, however these target areas
broadly states the improvements that this goal is to achieve. The millennium
development goal target areas aren’t precisely detailed and states the improvement that
the global goal will achieve in a broad manner. The global goals targets address the
issues about the improvement that are going to be made in much more detail. This
shows that the millennium development goals weren’t entirely successful and there are
multiple areas that need to be improved. Hopefully, the sustainable development goals
will manage to achieve the majority of target for each goal and significantly improving
on the goals.

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For this assessment, we were required to participate in a volunteering action and a
form of raising awareness. For my action, Helena, Molly and I completed an energy
survey for 10 different classrooms across the school campus. The three of us visited
each of the classrooms twice every day for five consecutive days. We recorded that
the amount of lights, air conditioner and projectors which had been left on, while
there was no one inside the classroom.

We used this data and calculated the amount of energy those classrooms wasted
during the five days. Our results showed that during those five days the amount of
energy wasted by the leaving the lights on was 14.6kWh of electricity, leaving the
air conditioners on wasted 111.8kWh of electricity and in total all the 10 classrooms
wasted 126.4kWh of electricity in just those five days. We calculated that this was
equivalent to completely charging an iPad pro approximately 10,533 times or
leaving the television on for 365 hours.

For our raising awareness, I made two posters that were put up for display all
around the school. The first poster I created describe a main overview of what the
goal was trying to achieve, a few basic statistics related to the goal and how
individuals can help to achieve global goal 11. Our group also created small paper
cards that said to keep the air conditioner on 25 degrees as it uses minimal energy
and is a comfortable temperature to keep the air conditioner set on. We also created
an infographic that explained our action was and what our results showed and we
made a separate poster that showed the equivalent of wasting 126.4kWh of


Sustainability Action Week started at GESS from the 28 th of May till the 2 nd of June.
During this week, our grade visited the primary campus and we presented an overview
of our global goals to the students who came to listen to our presentation in the
multipurpose room. Each global goal was given 2 boards that we used to hang up all our
poster in. We displayed all our posters and Helena made a banner for our board. We also
set up our PowerPoint that explained our goals in detail and verbally explained our
action. We created a quiz where we tested students to see if they had retained the
information that we had presented to them and if they managed to get a high score, they
received some candy.

On Friday, we set up the exact posters, PowerPoint and quiz at the main campus in the
forum and we presented to students, teachers, heads and the principal who were
interested in learning about our global goal. We presented during both lunch breaks and
this helped us raise more awareness than we did at the primary campus. Our grade
created a sheet of paper that other students could write what action they were going to
take throughout the week and in return got a ribbon tied around their wrist which was
the color of the global goal that they were supporting

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T his table explains the type of action that I took for the assessment and lists the
successful areas and the areas that need improvement.

Action Success Improvements
Energy The energy survey wasn’t exactly We only surveyed 10 classrooms
Survey challenging to complete and our for five days which is quite
group did it effectively and produced limited classrooms considering
accurate results. that the school had many more
It made an impact on teachers and
parents who saw our energy survey I believe that we could’ve made
results poster as we got many a bigger impact if we had
teachers and parents commenting visited more classrooms over a
they were quite interested in the longer period of time.
survey report as well as what the
energy wasted was equivalent to.

The survey had an impact on me as
well as I didn’t realize how much
energy just 10 classrooms were
wasting in only five days.

Raising Putting up poster in prominent areas We put posters up in prominent
awareness was quite effective in raising areas, however I believe that
awareness of our global goals and majority of students didn’t
(Posters) any one could see them while bother to read the posters about
walking around campus. our global goal.

We also had teachers that had come An improvement that could’ve
up to us who had seen our posters been made would have been
around campus and were interested making a website as it would
in learning more on the topic. have been a more effective way
of spreading awareness.
Raising Majority of the students that As the student were younger
awareness attended that raising awareness they had a shorter attention
session were interesting in learning span and got distracted easily
(Primary about the global goals and asked lots also younger student were also
Campus) of questions regarding the goal. not as capable to be taking

An improvement that could’ve
been made would have been
simplifying the content for the
younger audience so that they
would have been better able to
understand the action.

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Raising Compared to the raising awareness There were more teachers
awareness session we had at the main campus, I attending our presentation as
believe that we had more people students weren’t entirely
(Main interested in the global goals and interested and most teachers
Campus) weren’t forced to attend the already knew quite a bit about
awareness session as the students at the global goals already.
the primary campus were required to

I felt as if it was easier to
communicate to parents, teachers
and students as communication is
easier because we didn’t’ have to
simplify our language for them to
understand what we are talking


See Action Plan that is located on OneNote


In conclusion, learning about the global goals, their importance and why these goals
were created has helped me understand the issues and challenges that our world is
facing today. Researching Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities and learning
about their targets and the improvements that this goal will possibly achieve by 2020
has helped me to understand the importance of having safe and sustainable cities and
the effects that occur if this goal isn’t achieved. Before we started this project, I believe
an individual such as myself couldn’t be able to help in order to achieve these large,
important goals. However, after learning that I am able to take action by simply going
around school by conducting an energy survey and raising awareness to other students
and teachers. As our raising awareness sessions were quite successful and has impacted
the global goals greatly, I would like to continue to take action. In the future, I will
continue raising awareness inside and outside of school and continue taking different
actions to help achieve this global goal.

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