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United Nations and World Bank Unite for Sustainable Urban Development
In light of the United Nations's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, policymakers and development experts are searching for ways to work towards equitable and sustainable development far into the 21st Century. One focus area, sustainable urban development, has found renewed support at the World Bank-IMF Annual Meetings in Lima, Peru. UN-Habitat—the United Nations agency on human settlements and urban development—announced on Saturday a partnership with the World Bank to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) identified as crucial to international development. The organizations will focus in particular on Goal 11, which targets city sustainability, inclusiveness, safety, and resilience.
According to UN-Habitat, cities are very important to international development. With challenges such as employment, housing, transport, and an estimated 70 percent of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, the agency is focusing on urban areas thanks in large part to the rapidly-increasing population of cities in the developing world.
With the COP21 Climate Summit at the end of November and the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development – Habitat III in 2016, UN-Habitat and the World Bank will have plenty of chances to work out the details of achieving the SDGs. Both agencies stress the need for public-private partnerships, and the potential for sustainable urbanization to have a "transformative" effect on global development.