Actions to achieve Sustainable Urban Development

Why actions matter in achieving the 2030 Agenda

We have less than seven years remaining to reach the Sustainable Development Goals. In 2020, the United Nations Secretary-General called upon a Decade of Action to accelerate and mobilise solutions at local and global levels and fully engage partners, people and communities across all sectors to leverage transformative changes. Therefore, it is crucial to collect and monitor committed actions and advance the progress and achievement of the Agenda 2030.

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WUF 11 – The Katowice Declared Actions

The eleventh session of the World Urban Forum (WUF11) took place in Katowice, Poland, from 26 to 30 June 2022 under the theme Transforming our Cities for a Better Urban Future.

The theme’s relevance is stark as the world comes together to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable, especially after the devastating effects of Covid-19 and the refugee situation due to the crisis in Ukraine.

The WUF11 concluded with the Katowice Declared Actions. These declared actions will carry the sustainable development agenda forward to the next World Urban Forum in Cairo, Egypt in January 2024, and beyond. They include recommendations and commitments that representatives of government, civil society and the private sector take back to their home cities for further discussion and implementation. WUF11 Katowice Declared Actions are voluntary actions and commitments that support the NUA implementation and accelerate the SDGs’ attainment. 

WUF 10 - The Abu Dhabi Declared Actions
The Tenth Session of the World Urban Forum (WUF10) debated issues related to rapid urbanisation, building inclusive and resilient cities, and taking steps to accelerate their work towards the New Urban Agenda as an accelerator to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals in the Decade of Action. WUF10 began with a call to action and concluded with the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions committed by different partners and stakeholder groups.

The Abu Dhabi Declared Actions comprises actions committed on a voluntary basis by governments, partners, individuals, communities, and the business sector from cities and countries around the world to accelerate the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals by 2030. The Actions were produced in consultation with the WUF10 Advisory Group representatives from diverse urban development partners. The Actions are strategic level goals that will result from implementing new initiatives from various institutions and actors.

For more information on the Declared Actions, please visit here.

The first report on the implementation of the Abu Dhabi Declared Actions: one year of implementation was published in 2021. The report details successes and highlights actions partners are engaging in to fulfil their commitments.

Actions At-a-Glance


Promoting UN Habitat’s Flagship Program “SDG Cities” in the MEWA Region

UCLG-MEWA commits to mainstreaming SDG Cities Program in the MEWA cities, through assisting them to produce VLRs accross the region, and ensuring proper follow up in the aftermath, in coordination with the UN Habitat HQ and its regional office. The Program is expected to help cities to better allocate their limited resources for the maximum SDG impact, and promote multi-stakeholder local partnerships. This action will encourage more cities in the region to implement&localize SDGs and report on their SDG progress. To magnify the impact of the SDG Cities program, UCLG-MEWA requests UN-Habitat’s Executive Director to initiate a process within the UN System to establish an official SDG Cities Certification mechanism that recognizes the efforts and achievements of cities to accelerate the achievement of SDGs.
Source: World Urban Forum

Empowering the Global Task Force on Migration as the Main Hub for Local Government Based Initiatives on Migration and Displacement

The GTFM as a global platform consists of LRGs, international organizations, NGOs and UN Agencies aligns its works with the SDGs. The GTFM is trying to spotlight some of the SDGs that fit with its vision, such as (1) no poverty, (2) zero hunger, (4) quality education, (5) gender equality, (8) decent work and economic growth, (10) reduced inequality, (11) sustainable cities and communities, (16) peace, justice, and strong institutions and (17) partnership for the Goals. In this regard, The GTFM aims to create a transformative impact to accelerate the process of SDGs implementation by providing a consultative space for its network and partners worldwide to share their promising practices toward the achievement of the global agendas. Additionally, the GTFM serves as a platform for cities to unleash their potential in order to make a tangible difference in peoples’ lives. In accordance with the principle of real change that touches people's daily lives, the GTFM considers cities and LRGs as its main partner in all its work. Thus, the transformation and added value brought by the GTFM are commensurate with the needs of the population.
Source: World Urban Forum

Damien Thibon

The Urban Thinkers of the World Urban Campaign commit to promote the 60 priority actions of ‘The City We Need Now’ to achieve sustainable urbanization in 10 areas: 1/ Health and well-being; 2/ Peace and safety; 3/ Climate adaptation and resilience; 4/ Inclusion and gender equality; 5/ Economic opportunities for all; 6/ Culture and identity; 7/ Local governance; 8/ Urban planning and design; 9/ Housing, services and mobility, and; 10/ Learning and innovation. The 224 partner organizations of the World Urban Campaign commit to advocate and collaborate towards implementation through a series of Urban Thinkers Campus in the coming two years. World Urban Campaign Partners will collect good practices, with evidence on impacts produced, and share them in key milestones events such as the High Level political Forum, COP 27 and 28, World Habitat Day, World Cities Day and Urban October, as well as along strategic action campaigns to engage more partners in joined actions towards sustainable urbanization.
Source: World Urban Forum

Participatory Urban Greening

In cooperation with Municipalities in the area of Attica, but also in Greece in generally, we rennovate abandoned unused urban areas into green spaces. The aim is to steadily increase urban greening while promoting a sense of place in urban neighborhoods, reconnecting people with nature and giving priority to those more in need.
Source: World Urban Forum

cities with healthy DNA

The health and well-being of city dwellers are the backbone of this mobile app-based project. Because people with their individual actions create a collective consciousness that is reflected in the social dynamics as a city strategy. In this project hand in hand with the sustainable development goals proposed by the UN in its 2030 agenda, the EU green pact on the way to a green transition,are the basis for starting the change in the city of Adana in Turkey. ADANA, located in Turkey, is the capital of the province of Adana, with its 2,237,940 inhabitants is the 5th most populated city in Turkey, with a population density of 786.76 inhabitants/km2. These characteristics make it one of the most dynamic cities in Turkey and its location 30 km from the coast makes it a very productive tourist area. The diversity of its population, its tourist sites and its variety of industries and economy have made it necessary to implement strategies to gradually turn it into a sustainable city by diversifying urban and inter-urban transport, which is increasingly becoming the first choice of its inhabitants for getting around (metro/rail/light rail/bus - special buses for people with disabilities). In this context, the incorporation of SNAILSTEP in the city of Adana, as part of the regional strategy to promote the daily physical activity of the inhabitants and contribute to health and well-being, as well as the economic revival of local businesses, is the first step towards achieving the goals of the 2030 Agenda and Europe's green pact. SNAILSTEP, within the city of Adana, would be part of the mobility plan, promoting the health and well-being of people who walk, while collaborating in the field of pedestrian accessibility and supporting local commerce hand in hand with all those who walk.
Source: World Urban Forum

Global Partnership for Local Investment

The World Economic Forum and UN-Habitat recognize the extraordinary challenges facing cities and local governments as they look to recover from compounding global crises and continued economic instability. To address this urgent need, the World Economic Forum and UN-Habitat commit to the establishment of a Global Partnership for Local Investment to accelerate public-private collaboration and resourcing of urban initiatives that advance the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and New Urban Agenda. The Global Partnership will forge and mobilize a coalition of industry leaders, investors, international institutions, multilateral development banks, and national, regional and city governments to serve as first-movers and pioneers for joint planning and co-investment in cities; curate successful models of public-private collaboration that can be scaled globally; and develop new tools, forums and platforms to catalyse, support and showcase these new models of collaboration and co-investment.
Source: World Urban Forum

Public Spaces in Serbia

Topic of public spaces is the topic recognized in the Agenda 2030, New Urban Agenda, International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning and in the Sustainable Urban Development Strategy of the Republic of Serbia until 2030. This topic is chosen as one of the initial topics for cooperation of UN Habitat with Republic of Serbia reflected in the Habitat Country Program Document. During the mission of ED of UN Habitat to Serbia in September 2021 it was agreed to mainstream this topic having in mind low quality of public spaces in Serbia, necessity of their inventory, improvement of activities on their planning, making, maintenance and monitoring. During the WUF 11 in Katowice in June 2022 the event of type SDGs in Action was presented with the title "Eleven Public Spaces in Serbia for WUF11 and SDG11" with examples of efforts made by cities of Belgrade, Niš and Kruševac to improve the quality of public spaces. Cities of Niš and Kruševac are proposing two public spaces as declared actions to start the activities on their improvement before the WUF12. Two chosen spaces are going to use the recommendations of above mentioned international and national strategic urban development documents, to use local potential of public, private, civic, academic sectors and all interested citizens in order to have two representative public spaces as pilot projects that can be used as examples for future activities on public spaces in Serbia and potentially in the macro-regions of Southeast Europe, Eastern Europe or wider.
Source: World Urban Forum

Action Plan for Cities

"Action Plan for Cities. Model Locality ” is a unique program, which was established on the initiative of the Ministry of Development Funds and Regional Policy of Poland. Its aim is to: - mobilize Polish cities to undertake activities for sustainable transformation and implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals at the local level; - include them in the global discussion on sustainable urbanization trends; - popularize SDG's implementation as part of the cities' own tasks. The result of the participation of each city in the program will be the implementation of the selected project by the end of 2022, although a significant number of projects will also be continued in the following years. Each project complies with the declared Sustainable Development Goal in accordance with the city's needs. Action Plan for Cities is presented in the form of a catalogue of activities, a common vision of sustainable development developed through the exchange of experiences and transformations along to the long-term aspirations of cities. Project was run by the Institute of Urban and Regional Development. The detailed information can be found here:
Source: World Urban Forum

Certification and Localizing SDG Goal 11 in Nepalese Cities

1. Preparation of National Urban Policy 2. Preparation of Urban Acts and Regulation 3. Preparation of Plan of Action for National Urban Development Strategy 4. Co-ordinate with relevant stakeholders.
Source: World Urban Forum

Clean our planet

Stimulating the authorities to solve environmental problems caused by improper waste management. Threats to health and public life. Implementation of environmental engineering solutions in the aspect of recovery processes R1 - energy recovery. Many national authorities in developing countries are seeking help with aspects of civil service creation and proper waste management. Of course, for the existence of private business like rich countries, certain legal norms must be regulated. Thus, it provides a good foundation for a sustainable waste management system in a global aspect.
Source: World Urban Forum