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.

Cyclists form the most vulnerable road user group in terms of injury from traffic accidents, as well as exposure to traffic-related air pollution. Ironically, commuter cyclists are often motivated by improvement in health and fitness. Cycleways away from traffic with lower concentrations of pollutants from motorised vehicles sometimes result in longer distances and hence require longer travel times, while alternative routes sharing the road with other traffic, sometimes with buses, might result in exposure to higher pollutant concentrations.

Daniel A. Fiscus, Brian D. Fath, Chapter 8 - Technology and applications in the context of holistic life–environment, Editor(s): Daniel A. Fiscus, Brian D. Fath, Foundations for Sustainability, Academic Press, 2019, Pages 205-230

This chapter contributes to SDGs 15, 13, and 11 by presenting technologies and applications for addressing climate change as a result of human activity on land.
Challenges posed by the intermittency of solar energy source necessitate the integration of solar energy conversion with scalable energy storage systems. The monolithic integration of photoelectrochemical solar energy conversion and electrochemical energy storage offers an efficient and compact approach toward practical solar energy utilization. Here, we present the design principles for and the demonstration of a highly efficient integrated solar flow battery (SFB) device with a record solar-to-output electricity efficiency of 14.1%.
To celebrate 2017 as the International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development, World Travel Market London is focusing World Responsible Tourism Day – including the WTM Responsible Tourism Awards – on the UN Sustainable Development Goals. The awards categories are centred on the UN’s Sustainable Tourism Goals, with a focus on businesses, destinations and organisation which can clearly demonstrate their contribution to sustainable development

Foundations for Sustainability, A Coherent Framework of Life-Environment Relations, 2019, Pages 231-247

This book chapter addresses goals 15, 11 and 13 by exploring how systems and network ecology can contribute towards the larger goal of sustainability.

Douglas E. Soltis, Pamela S. Soltis, Chapter 6 - Fate of the Tree of Life, Editor(s): Douglas E. Soltis, Pamela S. Soltis, The Great Tree of Life, Academic Press, 2019, Pages 117-150, ISBN 9780128125533,

This book chapter advances SDGs 13 and 15 by explaining human and environmental activity and their potential role in extinction.

Sustainability, Energy and Architecture, Case Studies in Realizing Green Buildings, 2013, Pages 359-385.


This chapter advances goals 11 and 7 by analysing the users' perceptions of thirty-one sustainable commercial and institutional buildings located in a range of climatic zones.

Towards Sustainable Road Transport, 2014, Pages 65-85

The road transport scene is changing rapidly under the stimulus of new vehicle and engine technology, as well as global political and socio-economic pressures. Through discussion of these issues, this chapter advances goals 11 and 7.

Green Ports: Inland and Seaside Sustainable Transportation Strategies, Volume , 20 September 2018

This book chapter addresses SDG 11 by explaining an overview of green ports in theory and practice and environmental issues in the shipping industry.
An increasing number of cities and local governments adhere to transnational initiatives on climate change mitigation, but quantification of their contribution to the Paris Agreement commitments is lacking. To address this, the climate mitigation trajectory to 2050 of Covenant of Mayors (CoM) signatories has been studied. As of October 2017 there are more than 7600 signatories covering 238 million inhabitants, mainly from European cities. Of these 533 have already reported on the implementation of their climate action plans and 207 signatories have declared a long term target beyond 2020.