Sustainable Urbanization in Commonwealth Countries
By 2050, an additional 2.5 billion people will be living in the world’s towns and cities, with almost 50 per cent of that growth taking place in the Commonwealth. Member States, both large and small, are facing the impacts of climate change and rapid urbanization. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded these impacts and resulted in one of the worst global health and economic shocks of recent times. Consequently, progress towards achievement of the SDGs has been eroded in many countries, undermining the first year of the Decade of Action towards Agenda 2030.
With almost 50 per cent of Commonwealth citizens living and working in cities and human settlements, and 65 per cent of the 169 targets underlying the 17 SDGs linked to territorial and urban development, sustainable urbanization must be central to the Commonwealth’s agenda for delivering a common future: connecting, innovating, and transforming.
Sustainable urbanization requires cities and human settlements that are well-led and well-planned, yet many lack the capacity, capability or resources to respond.
The Commonwealth has the potential to transform the way in which it does business to achieve a uniquely Commonwealth response to the challenges and opportunities of urbanization. The Commonwealth family already brings together intergovernmental, governmental, civil society, professional, private sector and academic organizations under one umbrella. By supporting a multi-disciplinary partnership that reflects the commitment to multilevel governance set out in the 2030 Agenda, the Commonwealth could facilitate a collaborative partnership to strengthen policymaking, enhance financing, build capacity, promote learning and enable innovation in a more integrated way towards a shared commitment to sustainable urbanization in the Commonwealth.