Urban Regeneration for Localizing the Sustaianble Development Goals
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Urban Regeneration for Localizing the Sustainable Development Goals

As cities expand and inequalities rise, localizing the SDGs becomes increasingly urgent. Challenges such as insufficient affordable housing, basic services provision, job opportunities, and climate impacts confront governments daily. Economic shifts exacerbate issues, leaving inner-city areas with unemployment, poor services, and crumbling infrastructure amid ongoing crises, profoundly affecting socio-economic development.

Local and regional governments, tasked with promoting resilience and sustainable development, often lack necessary legal and financial resources to address these challenges effectively, and face limited data and technical capacities. In addition, an overall lack of awareness about the potential of connecting local development to the principles of the 2030 Agenda hampers SDG progress.

These complex challenges require integrated solutions. Connecting the localization of the SDGs to urban regeneration processes has the potential to tackle at the same time many drivers (e.g., data, capacities, financing) as well as many dimensions (e.g., social, environmental, economic) of sustainable development through integrated approaches to urbanization connecting resilience and development. With the potential to advance at least 15 of the 17 SDGs and over 45 SDG Targets, urban regeneration serves as a multifaceted solution addressing challenges such as social equity, human health, carbon emissions, infrastructure improvement, liveability, and housing.

The paper demonstrates how urban regeneration can drive progress across at least 15 SDGs and advance 45 targets. It includes four case studies from different regions to illustrate the impacts and lessons learnt.

Through this publication, UN-Habitat’s Flagship Programme 1 ‘Inclusive Communities, Thriving Cities’ also aims to continue a cross-sectoral and inclusive discussion with relevant urban actors on urban regeneration and the co-benefits it could generate.