Did you know that more than half of the world’s population lives in cities? Even though cities only make up 3% of the earth’s land, more than 3.5 billion people live in cities today, and that number is only growing.
Cities are also economic powerhouses, and contribute greatly to the world economy with large numbers of people working in offices, factories, construction and stores. Unfortunately, this also means that cities are largely responsible for alarmingly high levels of air pollution and carbon emissions from the production of goods and services and the consumption of energy for transportation, and electricity and heating of the many buildings and apartments. These levels put our environment in danger.
As more people make cities their homes, it is very important to focus on making cities safe, inclusive, and sustainable. Are there sidewalks in your city? Are there enough jobs and homes for everyone? Is it safe for your family to walk at night? Is the air in your city clean? Are the parks taken care of?
These are just some of the questions that SDG 11 tries to address. Since more than half of humanity is living in cities, it is essential to focus on improving conditions in cities in order to make them safe and welcoming for people around the world.
Our new reading list covers many of these topics and we hope the stories will inspire you to think about ways that you can help improve the community that you live in.
The SDG Book Club makes content available in the six official languages of the United Nations – please see our other pages for more recommendations in Arabic, Chinese, French, Russian and Spanish.