For the first time in human history, the majority of the world population lives in urban areas. Human development and the impacts on the natural environment primarily occur or are originated in cities. The post-2015 development agenda recognizes this and includes an explicit goal in its proposed Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs): “Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.” It also includes ten targets, ranging from access to affordable housing and basic services to supporting the least developed countries for sustainable and resilient buildings. Having an explicit urban goal is an important advance from the eight Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of 2000–2015, which embedded human settlements only implicitly. Two aspects will need particular attention before the post-2015 development agenda is agreed in the United Nations General Assembly next year: fine-tuning the targets and defining appropriate indicators to follow up on progress.


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pp. 63-81
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