News from Rio — The New UN Agenda for Sustainable Development

What are the implications for Planning, and for your community’s sustainability planning initiatives, now that the world’s nations have reached a “Historic UN Agreement on the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development?”

“This is the first time in human history that the entirety of humanity . . . has come together in agreement on a set of 17 common goals with 169 targets — the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) — for the future development of our world.  This new agreement . . . does three enormous and amazing things:

  1. Puts forward a set of longer-term, systemically integrated goals for the entire world
  2. Frames the process of reaching those goals in terms of “transformation”
  3. Erases the distinction between “developed” and “developing” countries, making the whole agenda universally applicable, across countries and even sectors.”

“This new integrated, transformative, universal approach will produce a revolutionary change in how the world talks about, funds, and then implements development work. This new approach is already causing ripple effects in government policy and planning around the world.”

Here is the urban goal:

Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

  • Target 11.5: By 2030, significantly reduce the number of deaths and the number of people affected and substantially decrease the direct economic losses relative to global GDP caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations.
  • Target 11.b: By 2020, substantially increase the number of cities and human settlements adopting and implementing integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and develop and implement, in line with the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction 2015-2030, holistic disaster risk management at all levels.


[Source: AtKisson, Wavefront. Prepared by Scott T. Edmondson, AICP, past co-director/founder, and current Research Program Lead, APA Northern Section Sustainability Committee.]

Scroll to Top