By 2050, 70 % of the world’s population will live in cities, making cities critical in achieving a sustainable future for the world. Businesses, together with Governments at various levels, and civil society organizations and citizens are collectively engaged in pursuing ambitious objectives to make cities more competitive, safe, resource-efficient, resilient and inclusive. Key areas of need in achieving progress on Goal 11 are; 1) identifying and agreeing the most sustainable ways to achieve the targets- what activities should be ceased and which ones accelerated; 2) building appropriate capacity and skills across these stakeholder groups to deliver; 3) attracting/securing finance, innovative designs and delivery models and projects for integrated city infrastructure– including buildings, energy, mobility, telecommunications, water, sanitation and waste management services, and; 4) ensuring practical processes for multi-stakeholder engagement in all stages of urban development that build consensus, inclusion, resilience and sustainability.
Businesses can help cities navigate these challenges and turn a high-level vision into practical and implementable action plans. Business can play a vital role not only in providing specific infrastructure, technology, services and financing solutions, but also in contributing to the strategy that will support the overall optimization of urban systems to create inclusive, safe, sustainable and disaster resilient cities. Cities seeking to realize their sustainability objectives can benefit from engaging with business early in the planning and strategy development process, leveraging the capability of business to identify innovative and cost-effective solutions to complex, cross-cutting urban sustainability challenges.