Momentum builds for a Sustainable Cities goal – but will the OWG ultimately include it?

Written By Lorenz Noe, on the Global Housing Policy Indicators blog:

“As the eighth and final meeting of the Open Working Group winds down, the world eagerly awaits to see how the input gathered will translate into a concrete agenda ahead of the 2015 expiration of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With an increasing number of people living in cities and slum populations continuing to swell, sustainable cities in general and adequate housing in particular must be preserved in the next set of goals, known as Post-2015.

According to the co-chairs of the Open Working Group Co-Chairs for the Seventh Meeting of the Open Working Group (OWG), “the world is rapidly urbanizing, and so cities are where ‘the battle for sustainable development will be won or lost’. Addressing the needs of the urban poor in informal settlements and slums is crucial for poverty eradication.” In the outcome documentfollowing the “Sustainable Cities and Human Settlement, Sustainable Transport” meeting a few weeks ago, the Co-Chairs of OWG 7 also mentioned that “the inclusion of an urbanization-related goal in the SDGs framework” was widely supported.

It is understandable then that many advocacy groups, among them Communitas, SDSN and UCLG feel that great progress has been made. Indeed, at OWG7’s closing session, a vast majority of delegations expressed support for a stand-alone goal on sustainable cities. An SDG on sustainable cities therefore seems to be closer to reality than ever before.”

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