SDG #11 Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
Over half of the world’s population live in urban areas; this is expected to increase to two thirds by 2050.
Cities are centers of commerce, generating more than 80 per cent of global GDP, and play a key role in boosting productivity needed for economic development. Urbanization can make it easier to introduce the infrastructure needed for essential services such as grid-connected energy, water and sanitation. However, urbanization also brings significant challenges. All over the world, cities are facing critical levels of air pollution. Many cities in developing countries are facing rapidly growing numbers of population, leading to slum areas and unplanned urban development, as infrastructure provision has not kept pace with population growth. Much of this urbanization is vulnerable to disasters, risks that are being magnified by climate change. These challenges require better urban planning and management to make the world’s urban areas more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Why should business support SDG11?
Businesses are core of urban development, supply and services to urban populations. They are well positioned to deliver on Goal 11’s promise of universal access to quality housing, transport, green, and cultural heritage, in collaboration with governments and municipalities.
A company or an investor could target an array of resource-management initiatives. Water, electricity, and transit projects deserve the greatest focus. Businesses that have water to process food and materials, whose lights and computers are reliably powered, and whose goods can get to market and employees can get to work quickly and efficiently are clearly at an advantage. Similarly, citizens with ready access to clean water, whose children have light by which to read and study, and who can commute efficiently and affordably have a foundation on which to thrive. All the other services a competitive city provides—functional housing, schools, hospitals, stores, police and fire departments, heating, cooling, waste management, and so on—depend on a reliable water, electricity, and transit infrastructure.
So, what can You and your company do?
Below I give you some examples of business actions that You and your company can take:
Research, develop, and distribyte products and services which improve access to resilient buildings, transport, green spaces, and utilities.Example:A financial institution partners with city government to structure and launch a green bond to attract investment for sustainable infrastructure within city region.SEB facilitated the first Nordic ‘green’ bond issuance with a SEK 500 million bond for the City of Gothenburg. With the issuance, the City of Gothenburg is a pioneer in the Nordic region for using the green bond financial framework, developed by SEB together with the World Bank and other Swedish investors. The issuance is part of a potential SEK 2 billion green bond program from Gothenburg to help fund environmental projects.this means SEK 2 billion in financial investement and business opportunity!
Protect and invest in cultural and natural heritageExample:A hotel company coordinates across its supply chain to eliminate wastewater discharge and air pollution near UNESCO World Heritage sites.
Support access to essential services across the workplace, marketplace, and CommunityExample:An insurance company works on an app that would connect women in danger or in need to the nearest police station, hospitals, banks, law and order institutions, and vocational training institutes. The app aims to empower women and promote gender equality in locally.