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 book chapter advances SDGs 11, 12, and 15 by discussing the key drivers, obstacles, and opportunities in plastics sustainability, offering a balanced analysis of current challenges and solutions supporting the more sustainable production, use, and re-use of plastics, which are valuable materials with critical applications across civilization.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 38, April 2020
Urban expansion is considered to be one of the main threats to global biodiversity yet some pollinator groups, particularly bees, can do well in urban areas. Recent studies indicate that both local and landscape-level drivers can influence urban pollinator communities, with local floral resources and the amount of impervious cover in the landscape affecting pollinator abundance, richness and community composition. Urban intensification, chemicals, climate change and increased honey bee colony densities all negatively affect urban pollinators.

Environmental Science and Policy, Volume 106, April 2020

The Paris Agreement to keep global temperature increase to well-below 2 °C and to pursue efforts to limit it to 1.5 °C requires to formulate ambitious climate-change mitigation scenarios to reduce CO2 emissions and to enhance carbon sequestration. These scenarios likely require significant land-use change. Failing to mitigate climate change will result in an unprecedented warming with significant biodiversity loss. The mitigation potential on land is high. However, how land-based mitigation options potentially affect biodiversity is poorly understood.

This book chapter addresses goals 7, 13 and 11 by looking at ecological technologies that transform natural resources into anthropocentric goods and services.
Introduction: People with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) including Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) often face serious transportation challenges that impede healthcare access, community participation, and employment opportunities. Travel training, which makes use of one-on-one instruction, may help people with IDD overcome transportation barriers. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of a comprehensive travel training program on the travel skills of individuals with IDD.
This book chapter addresses goals 14, 15, 6 and 11 by looking at the affects of pollutants on the biosphere.

Approximately 1 billion people currently live in informal settlements, primarily in urban areas in low- and middle-income countries. Informal settlements are defined by poor-quality houses or shacks built outside formal laws and regulations. Most informal settlements lack piped water or adequate provision for sanitation, drainage, and public services. Many are on dangerous sites because their inhabitants have a higher chance of avoiding eviction. This paper considers how to build resilience to the impacts of climate change in informal settlements.

This chapter supports SDGs 11 and 16 by discussing the features, deployment, technical innovations, ethical considerations, and issues related to the global use and implementation of Blockchain Technology-Based System (BTBS).
The latest analysis of SDG-supporting research focusses on SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities. This graphic shows key metrics for research into Sustainable Cities.
Elsevier, Environment International, Volume 134, January 2020
Background: Car-dependent city planning has resulted in high levels of environmental pollution, sedentary lifestyles and increased vulnerability to the effects of climate change. The Barcelona Superblock model is an innovative urban and transport planning strategy that aims to reclaim public space for people, reduce motorized transport, promote sustainable mobility and active lifestyles, provide urban greening and mitigate effects of climate change. We estimated the health impacts of implementing this urban model across Barcelona.