SDG 11
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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 all humanity. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without significantly transforming the way we build and manage our urban spaces.

The rapid growth of cities in the developing world, coupled with increasing rural to urban migration, has led to a boom in mega-cities. In 1990, there were ten mega-cities with 10 million inhabitants or more. In 2014, there are 28 mega-cities, home to a total 453 million people.

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, and upgrading slum settlements. It also involves investment in public transport, creating green public spaces, and improving urban planning and management in a way that is both participatory and inclusive. 

Goals in action

UNDP in Turkmenistan

Working for smart cities

Sustainability requires planning based on data, policies, financial support, and modern solutions for infrastructure. But citizens can also play a very large role through their choices and behaviour. MORE >

UNDP in Turkey

Managing the refuse of the refused

Turkey is accommodating more than two million Syrian refugees. One of the urgent challenges facing their host communities in the east is about how to manage the solid waste. MORE >

UNDP in Kosovo*

Taking ownership of a shared heritage

Youth ambassadors are sparking a movement that re-invents cultural heritage in accordance with the future, their shared future. MORE >

UNDP Around the world

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