How sustainable are Australia’s cities?

sustainable housing

This content forms a part of our issue briefing on sustainable cities and communities.

This briefing note considers Australia’s cities and urban communities as part of the United Nations’ “2030 Agenda”, a framework intended to guide sustainable development across all UN Member States — both developing and more developed — through 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). For the first time an “urban” goal, SDG 11, sets out specific targets for cities, aiming to “make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable”.

Although the Australian Government released a voluntary national review of Australia’s progress towards implementing the SDGs in June 2018, it is yet to complete a detailed analysis of SDG 11 metrics and targets (as noted on the Australian SDG Data Portal). This briefing note therefore represents an initial scoping of data and findings relating to the seven locally focused SDG 11 sub-targets, focusing on environmental issues and consequences. It also considers wider urban-related trends, threats and pressures that are likely to emerge.

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