SDG 11 AND 12: SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION

Supporting sustainable cities and communities of the future

Cities are the foundation of culture, science and social development. In 2015, close to 4 billion people lived in cities and that number is expected to increase to around 5 billion by 2030. We need to improve urban planning and management so that these spaces are more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. The efficient use of resources and energy is a basic requirement for moving towards this goal.

Urbanisation is an unstoppable phenomenon: some 4 billion people — half of humanity — live in the cities and it is estimated that, by 2050, that figure will rise to 5 billion. Likewise, some 833 million people currently live in slums.

These are some of the conclusions reached by the United Nations (UN) in its report Tracking Progress Toward Inclusive, Safe, Resilient and Sustainable Cities and Human Settlements, presented at the 2018 High-Level Political Forum, held between 9 and 18 July of that year in New York. According to the UN, although cities only occupy 3% of the land, they are responsible for 80% of global GDP, 70% of the energy consumed and 70% of CO2 emissions.

Reversing this situation sets new challenges, such as promoting the responsible and efficient consumption of resources, promoting environmental sustainability and reducing inequalities in urban spaces. Therefore, ensuring sustainable cities and communities, as well as the responsible production and consumption of resources, became the eleventh and twelfth of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN, approved in September 2015 as part of the 2030 Agenda.

Iberdrola with the sdg

Keys to understanding urban sustainability

Who does it affect?

Since 2007, more than 50% of the world's population
—about 4 billion people—
live in urban centres. There are still 833 million people living in slums.

97% of developing cities and 49% of developed cities do not yet meet air quality parameters...

... So 3.4 million people die each year as a result of air pollution.

How is this distributed around the world?

The 10 least sustainable cities in the world are concentrated in Asia (40%), North America (30% ), South America (10%),
Africa (10%) and Oceania (10%):

40

35

30

25

20

15

10

5

0

Hanoi

Kuala Lumpur

Cairo

Bangkok

Lima

Jakarta

Indianapolis

Perth

Houston

Tampa

Main causes

The rapid growth of cities in less developed countries; the increase in migration from the countryside to the city; the greater competition for natural resources, such as land and water; the lack of funds to provide basic services; and the deterioration of infrastructures.

How can we put an end to it?

We must ensure access to safe, affordable housing; we must improve the
slums; it is necessary to invest in public transport; create green public areas; and implement measures to make urban planning and management participatory and inclusive.

 

 SEE INFOGRAPHIC: Keys to understanding urban sustainability [PDF]

IBERDROLA, COMMITTED TO RESPONSIBLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION

The Iberdrola group is aligned with these objectives: at the end of 2017, 90% of Iberdrola's energy production came from local energy sources, available in the country where the electricity is generated.

The company also launched its Sustainable Mobility Plan in 2016 to facilitate the implementation and extension of electric vehicle with the development of policies and specific actions to mobilize all the actors involved: administration, companies, car manufacturers, etc.

WHY ARE THE UN GOALS OF SUSTAINABLE CITIES AND RESPONSIBLE CONSUMPTION SO IMPORTANT?

The problems faced by cities, such as the collection and safe management of solid waste, to name just one, can be overcome in a way that allows them to continue to thrive and grow, while making better use of resources in order to reduce pollution and poverty.

To achieve this, advances in innovation, consumption and investment, as well as the inclusive participation of their inhabitants will be essential.

TARGETS FOR SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS ELEVEN AND TWELVE

The targets established for 2030 are:

  • To ensure access to housing and adequate, safe and affordable basic services.
  • To increase inclusive and sustainable urbanisation.
  • To reduce food waste by half in retail sales and in production and supply chains.
  • To reduce the generation of waste through activities of prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse.
  • To achieve sustainable management and efficient use of natural resources.
  • To provide universal access to green areas and safe, inclusive and accessible public spaces.