The cities in the Sustainable Development Goals: matter of debate at the Forum of Local Development

On the 25th of September, UN member States, during the Sustainable Development Summit, will adopt the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, which consists of 17 Goals (SDGs), that are supposed to fight poverty, inequality and climate change. The Agenda aims at extending the Millennium Development Goals, which are expiring in a few months.

The proximity of the approval of the Sustainable Development Goals with the III° World Forum of Local Economic Development in Turin shows the importance and modernity of reasoning about sustainability. Specifically, the “Urban Africa” conference, within the Forum, is related thematically to the eleventh Goal, which promotes sustainable cities and communities.

Even the UNDP, active partner of the Forum, encourages a more inclusive, sustainable and safer approach to the cities. Nowadays more than half of the world population lives in urban areas and the increasing growth of migration flows from rural to urban space determines the birth of mega-cities, more and more densely populated. In 1990 there were 10 mega-cities in the globe, populated by 10 million inhabitants. Just 24 years later, the mega-cities are almost three times more than before, registering 43 million people. Today, in a sustainable development vision, it is no longer possible to think about urban progress, without considering sustainability in the cities’ construction and management. Since extreme poverty is often concentrated in city areas, investing in urban spaces, in order to create safe structure and a better access to the housing service, would hinder the construction of informal buildings like slums, favelas, bidonville. In such a way health standards would be respected, allowing to a safer and healthier life for the inhabitants.

Thinking over the city concept means adopting a sustainable positioning on public transports, creating more green areas and rethinking on urban planning, more participatory and inclusive.


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