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 Samoa

After a cyclone, a stronger home and future

Sitiseni Afua Fuga was pregnant when Cyclone Evan hit Samoa and destroyed her home. The huge storm, which hit the island nation in 2012, left a trail of devastation throughout her village of Siumu, and beyond. MORE >

UNDP in Azerbaijan

Learning to restore and protect Azerbaijan's farmlands

With EU funding and UNDP support, the Clima East Pilot Project in Azerbaijan is working to teach and establish sustainable pasture management practices, improve the fertility of pastures and forests and prevent soil erosion and landslides. MORE >

UNDP in Bhutan

The climate shifts. Bhutan responds.

Despite the susceptibility of Bhutan’s public health to climate change, the country has worked hard to strengthen its capacity to adapt to climate change. An important innovation of the Bhutanese initiative is linking climate data with epidemiological surveillance. MORE >

UNDP in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Flood warning systems in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The 2014 flooding and landslides affected more than a million people. With the understanding that advanced warning saves lives, UNDP is helping to establish a flood forecasting and early warning system in the Vrbas River basin. MORE >

UNDP in Venezuela

Another kind of gold mine: Culture

In the place where the Pemón people live, great table-top mountains tower above the rich green valley. In Pemón folklore, these mountains, called “tepui,” are home to the gods. MORE >