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

UNCT-GH-UNICEF-woman-bicycle-NyaniQuarmyne-2011(Photo: UNICEF Ghana 2011 / Nyani Quarmyne)

Why it matters in Ghana

The future we want includes cities with opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation, and protected green spaces for all to enjoy.

Ghana is urbanising rapidly with over 50% of its population living in urban areas. Cities face many challenges to improve resource use and reduce pollution and poverty, while rural-to-urban migration increases. 

Ghana’s national urban and housing policies aspire to address a variety of urban and housing problems, while respecting the human rights of all urban residents, including those in slum neighbourhoods. They also place increasing importance on building up resilience to extreme weather conditions in the implementation of transportation infrastructure, sanitation and health schemes, private sector growth, housing, and environmental protection plans.

How we can help

  • Each and every one of us can take an active interest in the governance and management of the city we live in.
  • As an active member of your community you can help develop a vision for your building, street, or neighbourhood, and act on that vision. Are there enough jobs? Are you close to healthcare? Can your children walk to school safely? Can you walk with your family at night? How far is the nearest public transport? What’s the air quality like? What are your shared public spaces like? The better the conditions you create in your community, the greater the effect on quality of life.
  • Reduce, reuse, recycle. Use reusable material instead of plastic to protect the environment.
  • Practice car sharing to reduce emissions.
  • Plant a tree in your compound.
  • If you are a land owner, cultivate your land; it is your gold mine.
  • Promote cultural diversity to enrich people’s lives.
  • We can also ask policy-makers to enforce policies that make Ghana’s cities resilient to climate change and natural disasters to avoid human, social and economic losses; promote sustainable urban development, slums and livelihood improvement, and increased resilience in disaster-prone communities as part of the sustainable urban development; reserve lands for recreational activities; support the building of eco-friendly infrastructure; allow access to arts and culture; and enhance city dialogue for peacebuilding.
  • Local authorities and communities can renew and plan their cities and human settlements so as to foster community cohesion and personal security and to stimulate innovation and employment.

Global Targets of Goal 11

11.1: By 2030, ensure access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services and upgrade slums

11.2: By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons 

11.3: By 2030, enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries 

11.4: Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world’s cultural and natural heritage

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 gross domestic product caused by disasters, including water-related disasters, with a focus on protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations

11.6: By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management

11.7: By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities 

11.a: Support positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, per-urban and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning 

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 

11.c: Support least developed countries, including through financial and technical assistance, in building sustainable and resilient buildings utilizing local materials

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