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Flagship 5: SDG Cities: Accelerating the Localization of the SDGs for a Sustainable Urban Future

A decade ago, the world shifted irreversibly from being mostly rural to considerably urban.

Wednesday, June 29, 2022


UN-Habitat Arena
Polish, English, Spanish, CART (English)
Arena 14


A decade ago, the world shifted irreversibly from being mostly rural to considerably urban. Today, 55% of the global population lives in urban areas and this is set to increase to 68% by 2050 as a further 2.3 billion people, due to demographic trends are added to the urban population. Cities now generate 80% of the world’s economy, and most countries that have urbanized have experienced economic growth. Urbanisation done well is recognized as an accelerator for sustainable development that can leave no one and no place behind, however poorly planned, and managed cities can cause greater inequality and environmental degradation.

The SDG Cities Global Initiative provides a structured way to support cities to accelerate the achievement of SDGs - improving quality of life and driving positive social, economic, and environmental impact. It systematizes a sequence of data collection, analysis, and city development planning. Based on this it identifies projects that have a measurable impact on SDGs, prepares them for finance and matchmakes them with sources of investment so that they can be implemented. It also seeks to strengthen local institutions capacities as relevant to ensure effectiveness in driving sustainable urban development. It then provides global recognition of the efforts of cities to accelerate the achievement of SDGs through SDG Cities Certification.

SDG Cities aims to reach 1000 cities and impact on 1 billion lives. To do this, UN-Habitat has established a user-friendly digital toolkit covering areas of urban data collection and analysis, institutional capacity assessment and training, and has established a Cities Investment Facility with UNCDF. The tools are currently being piloted in Bolivia, Ecuador, Ghana, Morocco, Tunisia, and Malaysia. Scale is also reached through partnerships, where partners may adopt, adapt, and implement the available tools and processes. The initiative is set to go to scale on World Cities Day 31 October 2022.

Session speakers

Ms. Maimunah Moh’d Sharif
Executive Director
Mr. Dyfed Aubrey
Inter-Regional Advisor
Mr. Dario Herrera
Ministry of Housing and Urban Development
Mr. Mohamed Sefiani
City of Chefchaouen
Mr. Osei Assibey Antwi
City of Kumasi
Ms. Ana Oregi
Deputy Mayor
City of Vitoria Gasteiz
Ms. Norliza Hashem
Chief Executive
Mr. Luis Carlos Velasquez
Ms. Carmen Cecilia Lecaros
Vice Minister
Ministry of Housing