Isaac Ashai Odamtten - Mayor of Tema, Ghana (via videolink)
By 2030, the majority of the world’s population will live in urban areas with most of the expansion set to take place in developing countries. If we are to end global poverty and inequality by 2030, it’s not just countries that need to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but cities too.
Yet cities face a number of challenges of their own, many of which could reverse progress. The number of people living in slums is rising, widening the gap between rich and poor. City governments frequently lack the resources to provide water, sanitation, waste management and other infrastructure services that contribute both to well-being and poverty reducing economic growth. Cities produce a high level of pollution and account for most of the world’s energy consumption. And high population levels make urban areas more vulnerable to the human, social and economic loss caused by climate change and natural disasters.
In response, mayors and local government authorities around the world are taking important steps to make their cities more inclusive and sustainable. From lowering carbon emissions to improving infrastructure services and generating jobs, this city-level development is, in turn, speeding up progress on a national level. But are all cities on track to achieve progress? And how can local, national and global leaders collaborate to ensure that we achieve all of the SDGs by 2030, leaving no one behind?
On World Cities Day, and following Habitat III, ODI’s #GlobalChallenges event brings together representatives from cities around the world to explore how urban areas can deliver the global goals.