Blog: Amplify

17 Days, 17 Goals: Goal 11 - Cities

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

- Make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable -

Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

This post is part of our blog series: 17 Days, 17 Goals. The blog series features foundations working on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals leading up to the first anniversary of the SDGs. The Council on Foundations Sustainable Development Goals & Philanthropy initiative is in partnership with the United Nations Foundation and SDG Philanthropy Platform. Find us on social media with #PhilSDGs.

Why do we need Goal 11?

  • Half of humanity - 3.5 billion people - lives in cities today
  • By 2030, almost 60% of the world's population will live in urban areas
  • 828 million people live in slums today, due to a combination of poor urban planning and rapid urbanization
  • The high density of cities can bring efficiency and technological innovation while reducing resource and energy consumption
  • By 2100, as many as 4 million Americans could be living in homes that flood regularly, thanks to an anticipated sea level rise of more roughly 6 feet

What are some of the targets?

  • Ensure access for all to adequate, safe, and affordable housing and basic services
  • Provide access to safe, affordable, accessible, and sustainable transport systems for all, expanding public transport, with special attention to those in vulnerable and disadvantaged positions
  • Strengthen efforts to protect and safeguard the world's cultural and natural heritage
  • Reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities
  • Support positive economic, social, and environmental links between urban, suburban, and rural areas by strengthening national and regional development planning

Featured: California Community Foundation

Transforming Los Angeles

The California Community Foundation, the community foundation for Los Angeles, is taking a comprehensive look at how to transform their city to meet its future with sustainability and success, making Goal 11: Sustainable Cities a reality.

By 2035, LA County will add 1.2 million more residents - a roughly 12% increase from today. The city's infrastructure, services, and nonprofits will need to be prepared to handle these people. As part of their Smart Growth initiative, CCF and partners completed a study that eventually led to the LA Metro's decision to include affordable housing in its plans for an expanded public transit system. Often, those who most need access to public transit are pushed out of its service area by high property values. As LA adds 100 new metro stations as part of its plan to overhaul the transit network, this will be taken into account. 

Since 2000, CCF has granted nearly $30 million to promote affordable and equitable housing that supports LA residents in need. They support low-income entrepeneurs, small businesses, and nonprofits to give Los Angeles the housing and economic opportunity that it will need to meet the 2030 goals. CCF also makes long-term investments into programs that support the local community. In 2007, the California Community Foundation launched the El Monte Community Building Initiative (CBI), a multi-year effort to engage residents, public agencies and businesses in identifying their community’s most critical challenges and develop solutions. In 2010, the community identified children’s health and education as its priorities. Now in its final year, the CBI will transition to a community-driven, sustainable collaboration known as the El Monte Promise Foundation.

Please read more about the amazing work of our member: 

California Community Foundation


Resources & Information

  1. United Nations
  2. The Weather Channel

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