GOAL 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe resilient and sustainable
SDG 11 aims to renew and plan cities and other human settlements in a way that they offer opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation, green public spaces, while improving resource use and reducing environmental impacts.
SDG 11 envisions cities as environmentally resilient human settlements, which drive sustainable development, stimulate innovation and foster community cohesion and personal safety.
SDG 11 calls for safeguarding the world’s cultural and natural heritage and supporting positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and rural areas. It also stands for enhanced international cooperation and support to least developed countries for building sustainable and resilient buildings.
Monitoring SDG 11 in an EU context focuses on progress made in enriching the quality of life in cities and communities, in fostering sustainable transport and in alleviating adverse environmental impacts.
Education for Sustainable Development Goals
Suggestions for the development of specific sustainability competencies from the action-oriented, transformative educational and learning outcome-oriented guide Education for Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO (2017)
Suggested learning objectives
Cognitive learning objectives
- The learner understands basic physical, social and psychological human needs and is able to identify how these needs are currently addressed in their own physical urban, peri-urban and rural settlements.
- The learner is able to evaluate and compare the sustainability of their and other settlements’ systems in meeting their needs particularly in the areas of food, energy, transport, water, safety, waste treatment, inclusion and accessibility, education, integration of green spaces and disaster risk reduction.
- The learner understands the historical reasons for settlement patterns and while respecting cultural heritage, understands the need to find compromises to develop improved sustainable systems.
- The learner knows the basic principles of sustainable planning and building, and can identify opportunities for making their own area more sustainable and inclusive.
- The learner understands the role of local decision-makers and participatory governance and the importance of representing a sustainable voice in planning and policy for their area
Socio-emotional learning objectives
- The learner is able to use their voice, to identify and use entry points for the public in the local planning systems, to call for the investment in sustainable infrastructure, buildings and parks in their area and to debate the merits of long-term planning.
- The learner is able to connect with and help community groups locally and online in developing a sustainable future vision of their community.
- The learner is able to reflect on their region in the development of their own identity, understanding the roles that the natural, social and technical environments have had in building their identity and culture. 4. The learner is able to contextualize their needs within the needs of the greater surrounding ecosystems, both locally and globally, for more sustainable human settlements.
- The learner is able to feel responsible for the environmental and social impacts of their own individual lifestyle.
Behavioral learning objectives
- The learner is able to plan, implement and evaluate community-based sustainability projects.
- The learner is able to participate in and influence decision processes about their community.
- The learner is able to speak against/for and to organize their voice against/for decisions made for their community.
- The learner is able to co-create an inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable community.
- The learner is able to promote low carbon approaches at the local level.
The need for shelter, safety and inclusiveness (human needs, contextualizing our different individual and collective wants and needs according to gender, age, income and ability)
Management and use of natural resources (renewables and non-renewables)
Sustainable energy (residential energy use, renewable energies, community energy schemes) and transportation
Sustainable food (agriculture, organic agriculture and permaculture, community supported agriculture, foodshed8 , food processing, dietary choices and habits, waste generation)
Urban ecology and how wildlife is adapting to humanity’s settlements
Sustainable resilient buildings and spatial planning (building materials, energy saving, planning processes)
Waste generation and management (prevention, reduction, recycling, reuse)
Communities and their dynamics (decision-making, governance, planning, conflict resolution, alternative communities, healthy communities, inclusive communities, ecovillages, transition towns)
Water cycle and restoring ground water through urban design (Green Roofs, rainwater harvesting, daylighting old river beds, sustainable urban drainage)
Disaster preparedness and resilience, resilience to weather problems and in the future and a culture of prevention and preparedness
Examples of learning approaches and methods
Excursions to ecovillages and other “living laboratories”, to waste water treatment plants and other service centres to show current and best practice
Develop and run a (youth) action project on sustainable cities and communities Invite older generations in to talk about how the settlement has changed over time. Ask them about their connection to the bioregion. Use art, literature and history to explore the settlement area and its changes
Build a community garden Mapping projects: map the area to note where there is good use of public open space, human scale planning, areas where the needs of the community are addressed, green spaces, etc. This can also map the areas that need to be improved, such as areas most exposed to natural hazards
Develop a two-minute video clip on an example of a sustainable urban community
Develop an enquiry-based project: “Would it be more sustainable if we all lived in cities?”