Urban transition pathways for the 2030 agenda for sustainable development : developing a national roadmap for sustainable development goal 11

SDG11 provides a critical ‘entry point’ into the 2030 Agenda for urban decision-makers, stakeholders and community groups, who often engage in a voluntary or ad-hoc manner with both national and international processes. By focusing on the urban goal, SDG knowledge exchange and training programs have demonstrated that sub-national actors can ‘scaffold’ familiarity with the wider 2030 Agenda and justify further engagement to city leadership and elected representatives. It also offers a diversity of partnership opportunities with other actors such as private enterprise, academia, and civil society, which can support a range of modes and means of SDG implementation. More recently, multiple global crises have disrupted SDG progress in tandem with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. These shocks and stresses have further destabilized SDG11 progress in Asia and the Pacific. COVID-19 emerged most immediately in cities and towns, with an estimated 90 percent of reported COVID-19 cases in urban areas over the first 6-month period of the pandemic. This concept note puts forward an approach for developing a national roadmap for achieving SDG11 as part of both national and sub-national efforts to achieve the Global Goals. It draws upon existing publicly available data, best-practice methodologies, and emerging examples of innovative partnerships and practices. Although specific to SDG11, the approach here is also cognizant of cross-SDG linkages (particularly in relation to the role of urban areas in achieving the 2030 Agenda as a whole), highlighting key opportunities for synergies at a target level.