Sustainable Development Goals Northern Ireland

Why we’re all responsible for implementing global development goals – Trudi Elliott, Royal Town Planning Institute

(via The Planner)

A year ago, 170 nations met to agree how they would address critical global urban challenges – from the rapid growth of cities to the threat of climate change, writes Trudi Elliott, chief executive of the RTPI.

The UN Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, saw the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the New Urban Agenda (NUA), along with the UN’s International Guidelines on Urban and Territorial Planning. Collectively, these provide a new framework for the way we plan, develop, finance and adapt our cities over the next 20 years. They also align with other international sustainable development commitments like the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030.

All these commitments identify planning as crucial to a sustainable urban future – a success for the RTPI and its partners in promoting the role of planning and planners.

As I put it following Quito, we are all planners now.

It would be easy to be disappointed about the progress since then. Setbacks have included the US withdrawal from the Paris agreement and the anti-regulatory stance of the Trump administration. In the UK, with Brexit, constrained public finances and political uncertainty, issues such as climate change seem to be further down the agenda than before, though social inequality is perhaps more prominent than it has been for a long time.

This may be partly about awareness. Many policymakers may not realise that for the first time the development goals include countries such as the UK and Ireland, and that every signatory is obliged to report on progress to the UN every four years beginning in 2018.

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