Sustainable Cities: Inclusive, Resilient, and Connected

Hosted by:
  • Indian Institute for Human Settlements and SDSN
    Bengaluru, India

Urbanization is a defining development trend and the dynamism of cities represents a major sustainable development opportunity. Today, about 55% of the world’s 7.6 billion people live in cities, and, by 2050, this will rise to 70%. Roughly 75% of global economic activity occurs in urban areas. At the same time, cities are home to extreme deprivation and environmental degradation, with one billion people living in slums. Cities have also felt the worst impacts of COVID-19, with higher infection and death rates relative to rural areas.

The SDSN Cities Network supports the global urban community with relevant knowledge, education, data, and monitoring to support the implementation of the SDGs in cities and urban communities. Key activities over the past year include:

Localising the SDGs for India 2019: Tracking the Changing Urban Context

This is the first state-level, sub-national report tracking India’s progress on the SDGs.

Sustainable Cities MOOC

This online course was revised and updated to include new interviews with global experts, recent developments, and new content on Chinese cities. In partnership with SDG Academy, it has already reached over 32,000 participants from 150 countries.

City Climate-Resilient Infrastructure Financing Initiative (C2IFI)

This is an initiative of the Penn Institute for Urban Research, supported by the Kleinman Center for Energy Policy and the Perry World House at the University of Pennsylvania. C2IFI will enable mayors to create inclusive and prosperous cities by locking-in climate-resilient infrastructure investments that yield economic, social, and environmental benefits and contribute to the achievement of nations’ Nationally-Determined Contributions and the Paris Agreement.

Coalition for Disaster Resilient Infrastructure (CDRI)

IIHS led the design of a global partnership to promote the resilience of infrastructure systems to climate and disaster risks, thereby ensuring sustainable development.

Urban University Network

The network is mapping cities and universities with probable areas of potential intervention for localisation. The database is built on SDSN’, IIHS’ and other network partners from the public, private and philanthropic sectors.

Looking Ahead

The network’s ambition is to grow the pool of practitioners, researchers, and policymakers around the world. This will enhance the reach of this global network and translate SDG-related research into policy-relevant tools. This includes peer-reviewed literature as well as wider and more participative forms of engagement like MOOCs and webinars. The Cities Network will also be working closely with the Global Covenant of Mayors in support of Innovate for Cities, a new science-policy-practice urban coalition.

IIHS is a research and national education institution committed to the equitable, sustainable and efficient transformation of human settlements. IIHS is an SDSN partner institution which had an key role in helping develop, design and negotiate SDG 11. The Cities Network Secretariat has been established in IIHS to help support the development of the network and its activities.