Sustainable cities and human settlements

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 aims to "Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable." This goal acknowledges the growing importance of urban areas, as it's projected that by 2050, nearly 70% of the world's population will live in cities. Consequently, cities bear significant implications for sustainability, economic growth, and societal wellbeing.

Inclusivity is a key feature of sustainable cities. This refers to equitable access to opportunities, public services, and amenities, regardless of a person's background or circumstances. It implies the availability of affordable and adequate housing, thus addressing issues of homelessness and substandard living conditions.

Safety in cities means ensuring urban environments that protect their inhabitants from both physical harm and psychological distress. This involves addressing crime rates, traffic accidents, and potential hazards from poor infrastructure, while also considering the impacts of noise, pollution, and overcrowdedness on mental health.

Resilience is another important aspect, particularly in the face of climate change. Resilient cities can withstand and quickly recover from shocks such as natural disasters or economic crises. This involves aspects such as resilient infrastructure, disaster risk reduction strategies, and adaptive capacities at the community level.

Sustainability, finally, requires cities to function in a way that doesn't compromise future generations' ability to meet their own needs. This includes sustainable urban planning to reduce environmental impact, promote energy efficiency, and conserve resources. It also considers the importance of green spaces for biodiversity and the wellbeing of urban residents.

SDG 11 is interconnected with many other SDGs. For example, sustainable urban transport systems contribute to SDG 13 (Climate Action) by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, ensuring access to green and public spaces supports SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being).

Achieving sustainable cities and human settlements requires cooperation and participation from various stakeholders, including government authorities, urban planners, businesses, and citizens. Through their collective efforts, cities can be transformed into hubs of sustainability, resilience, and inclusivity, contributing significantly towards the realization of the SDGs.

This chapter advances SDG 6 by presenting an overview of a low-cost technique for investigating groundwater flow and mapping a contaminated zone in the subsurface.

The Journal of Climate Change and Health,
Volume 5,

Climate change is both an important social determinant of health (SDH) and a worsening public health threat. Though a warming climate threatens everyone, pediatric populations are particularly vulnerable.

Ethiopia has experienced rapid urbanization over the past three decades. Several cities expanded rapidly and many satellite towns sprung up around the major cities. The high rate of urbanization and urban growth resulted in high demand for urban land, mainly for industrial, commercial, and residential purposes. In order to meet the demand, an enormous amount of land has been made available for urban use, mainly through land conversion. However, we know very little about how efficiently cities use urban land.


Animal Behavior (Third Edition), 2022, Pages 531-573

This book chapter advances SDGs 13, 15, and 17 by explaining how conservation of species in the wild by creating sanctuaries is most successful if aspects of behavior such as territoriality, dispersal, and migration are factored into sanctuary design.
Indigenous and community lands, crucial for rural livelihoods, are typically held under informal customary tenure arrangements. This article reviews and maps 19 community land formalization and 14 company land acquisition procedures in 15 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Comparing community and company procedures identifies multiple sources of inequity.

The concept of “Smart City” has been proposed by governments, the business community, advocacy groups, and research institutions as a means to solve common urban problems and improve the quality of life for citizens. Although a Smart City has the potential to change our cities for the better, it also may unintentionally reinforce existing inequalities. In particular, without appropriate strategies that support inclusion, persons with disabilities and seniors may experience social and digital exclusion in communities.


Science of the Total Environment, Volume 794, 10 November 2021

All aspects of sustainable development - biodiversity, food production, water treatment, climate change, energy opimisation - in years to come will capitalize greatly on digitalization.
This article aims to present and discuss the energy and environmental reality in the building sector and critically investigate the future pathways towards its decarbonisation.
Blockchain technology promises to improve the efficiency, transparency, and accountability of humanitarian operations. Yet at the same time, especially the humanitarian context with its characteristic volatility poses unique challenges to any technology. Most prominent are the humanitarian principles that are fundamental to humanitarian operations. These ethical principles are set to protect the most vulnerable populations. Designing blockchain projects in the humanitarian context therefore requires a systematic framework that helps humanitarians make critical choices.
Background: Natural outdoor environments including green spaces play an important role in preserving population health and wellbeing in cities, but the number of deaths that could be prevented by increasing green space in European cities is not known. We aimed to estimate the number of natural-cause deaths among adult residents that could be prevented in cities in 31 European countries, if the WHO recommendation for universal access to green space was achieved.