On 31 October this year, for the first time, the planet will celebrate World Cities Day. The event will be held promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, encourage cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges to urbanization in establishing sustainable urban development and planning. Why is this important? Because cities matter. The urban population in 2014 accounted for 54% of the total global population, and this continues to grow. With approximately 3.5 billion residents, cities are key players when it comes to having a defining impact on the environment. The key role of cities in promoting sustainability is also recognized within the United Nations and global community who are currently working on crafting a new set of goals – the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) which will follow the Millennium Development Goals after 2015. The latest zero draft of the SDGs includes a goal on “Making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable” (Goal # 11 or urbanSDG). That goal is backed up by specific targets such as expanding green spaces, reducing urban sprawl, eliminating slum-like conditions, and ensuring universal access to safe and sustainable urban transit.
As the voice of the global movement of cities dedicated to sustainable development, ICLEI strongly supports the stand-alone urban SDG. We are looking at an Urban SDG that will bring about inclusive sustainable development with low-carbon infrastructure, protected green spaces, productive resource management and long-term planning for resilient cities.
Let us hear from you, citizens of cities, on why an Urban SDG matters! Share your opinion on our platforms!
We want to drum up awareness on #urbanSDG in the run up to the World Cities Day on 31st October, to be held in Shanghai, China and in several cities around the world. Join the campaign until the 31st of October by letting us know why you care! Here are five easy steps:
- Fill out this template with a reason why #urbanSDG matters (for example: ‘because cities are the future,” or ‘because cities need more green spaces ’ or ‘because cities are key actors in sustainability’, or something personal like ‘because I need clean air to breathe’ or ‘because my city is my home’ etc.).
- Take a picture or a 6-second video of yourself holding the sign.
- Upload the photo or video directly on Twitter, Vine, Youtube or Flickr. Remember to tag @ICLEI on Twitter and use the hashtags #urbanSDG, #CitiesAct and #CitiesDay.
- Alternately, you can send the photo/video to media@ and we will upload it directly on our channels. iclei.org
- Spread the word by telling your friends, colleagues, family, partner, neighbors etc. about this!