Progress on SDG 11 assessed at the 2023 Sustainable Development Forum: Progress and Challenges in Cities

foro ods 11

foro ods 11

The status of implementation of Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 was evaluated by the countries of the region at the Sixth Meeting of the Forum of Latin American and Caribbean Countries on Sustainable Development, at ECLAC headquarters in Santiago, Chile.

SDG 11 focuses on making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. To achieve this, some SDG 11 targets propose working on access to adequate housing, adequate basic services, sustainable transport, safe public spaces and greater social inclusion, reduction of negative environmental impacts and disaster risks in urban areas.

Representatives from government, international organizations, the private sector, civil society and academia shared their experiences, best practices and challenges for achieving the goals in just seven years. To support the roundtable discussions, the Sustainable Development and Human Settlements Division analyzed the evolution of the urban indicators available in the region, the results of which can be found in the main document of the forum: "Latin America and the Caribbean at the halfway point towards 2030: progress and proposals for acceleration" (see link in the related links section).

Although the low coverage of the data does not allow for a specific analysis of most of the SDG 11 indicators, the available information shows that the region is making progress, but at an insufficient speed to meet the targets by 2030. The report notes that the reduction in the proportion of the urban population living in slums, informal settlements or inadequate housing (indicator 11.1.1) observed during the 2000s has stalled in recent years. It has also been found that, despite the gradual reduction of average levels of fine particulate matter concentrations in urban areas, the updating of WHO guidelines has moved the region away from levels considered adequate. Also, convenient access to public transportation services is limited.

With an inauspicious economic outlook for the coming years, the region is suffering the consequences of what has been called a "cascading crisis," which increases the cost of living, hinders access to housing, and jeopardizes environmental commitments. As a result, compliance with the goals is at risk.

In the aforementioned document, ECLAC details the strategic vision for achieving the SDGs. In a highly urbanized region such as Latin America and the Caribbean, the solution is to act in cities. To promote the fulfillment of SDG 11, ECLAC recommends that public policy should optimize land use, housing location and mobility, promoting incentives for occupation and obtaining resources through financing instruments based on land use.