The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), which were agreed in 2015 and officially launched in 2016, represent a key international process with huge implications for sustainable urban development. With the expiration of the Millennium Development Goals looming, an international process was put in motion in 2010, to develop a post-2015 development agenda and at Rio+20 an intergovernmental process to prepare a set of sustainable development goals was initiated. Guided by the expressed wish to create goals that address all dimensions of sustainable development, a transparent and inclusive process was launched that resulted in the identification of 17 Global Goals and 169 corresponding targets.
The importance of promoting sustainable and liveable cities was underlined by the development of a stand-alone SDG (Goal 11, entitled “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”). Moreover, research quoted by the Cities Alliance in 2015 suggests that 21 per cent of all 169 targets can only be, and an additional 24 per cent should be, implemented with local actors. Goal 11 comprises 10 targets, which are linked to 14 related indicators (see Table 1 in the “Further Resources” section on this webpage). With negotiations on indicators still ongoing as of 24 March 2016, changes to the indicators are still possible. The research team selected the following 5 environment-related SDG11 targets for further research.