IHS and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Please note that this page is currently under development.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development is a global initiative adopted by every United Nations Member State in 2015. This collective vision outlines a pathway towards peace and prosperity for people and the planet, both now and in the future. At its core, the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are an urgent call for action uniting developed and developing nations in a global partnership.

Cities and urban development receive recognition through Sustainable Development Goal 11 (SDG 11), which aims to "make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable". Due to the cross-cutting nature of urban issues, the UN recognizes their impact on other SDGs, including SDG 1: No poverty, SDG 6: Clean water and sanitation, SDG 7: Affordable and clean energy, SDG 8: Decent work and economic growth, SDG 9: Industry innovation and infrastructure, SDG 12: Responsible consumption and production, SDG 15: Life on land, and SDG 17: Partnerships for the goals, among others (UN, 2015). 

As reported by United Nations data and statistics in accordance with SDG 11, the rapid urbanization occurring in small cities and intermediate towns is deepening inequalities and urban poverty. In 2020, an estimated 1.1 billion urban residents lived in slums or slum-like conditions, and an additional 2 billion people are expected to join them in the next 30 years, primarily in developing countries. Cities, occupying only 3% of the Earth's land, account for 60-80% of energy consumption and 75% of carbon emissions. Challenges include inequality, high urban energy consumption, and pollution. While progress has been made since the implementation of SDGs, issues, such as limited access to public transport, persist. Sustainable development in urban spaces is crucial to address these challenges, and individuals can contribute by actively engaging in city governance, advocating for necessary changes, and fostering sustainable practices. 

Our three main areas of expertise closely align with these goals: Urban Sustainability and Resilience, Urban Socio-Spatial Development and Urban Economics and Governance. Through our education, advisory and research work, IHS contributes to the realization of SDG 11 as well as many other sustainable development goals.

Delve into our contributions through education, capacity-building, advisory services, research, publications, projects and partnerships by clicking on each SDG individually.

We aim to foster awareness and knowledge creation, link theory to practice, and challenge students and participants to think critically the Erasmian way, turning knowledge into action through engagement with real-life cases and stakeholders worldwide. 

At the university level, sustainability is woven into the fabric of all operational activities. Sustainability is a prerequisite for everything from our campus buildings to the food services and the design and usage of workspaces and outdoor areas.

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