Accelerating the SDGs


With the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (2015) and the New Urban Agenda (2016) the world has a roadmap towards a sustainable, equitable and better designed future. Goal 11 (make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable) shines a bright light on cities, as does Goal 10 (reduce inequality) and Goal 13 (climate action) amongst others. The SDGS are the centerpiece of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

The AIM of this project is to help accelerate awareness of the SDGs and NUA though practical action, including action in communities where the SDGs and NUA may not be so well known, and to contribute to their mainstreaming.

Stage 1 – ASK + learn: City Maker Survey, 2018

“How are the SDGs traveling in your world?”

If you contribute to ‘CITY MAKING’ through education (as students, teachers or researchers), the urban professions, local government, the arts, or civil society organizations, we invite you to take our CITY MAKERS SURVEY. We encourage youth, women and LGBT+ communities to participate.

Your responses will contribute to understanding city makers’ take-up – how and where – of the Sustainable Development Goals and the New Urban AgendaKnowledge gained will be shared directly with respondents, and through publications, and will assist in developing the LOCAL PROJECT CHALLENGE.

Please click on your preferred language:

Feel free to share the Survey with others.

Stage 2 – ACT + learn: Local Project Challenge, 2019

In  2019 City Makers are invited to ACT by forming local partnerships to develop local projects that are useful, innovative and respond to the SDGs. The intention is that the Local Project Challenge will generate new knowledge and build capacity in all who participate. Co-design is encouraged.

The Design, Planning and Policy Studio will create an online space for networking and the sharing of ideas between Local Project Challenge teams during 2019. Projects can be of any size or type, new or on-going; they can be proposed by groups or individuals. Five simple guidelines should make it easy for professionals, educators and civil society organizations to take on a Local Project Challenge as part of their work. Online submission deadline: December 7, 2019.  A call for project ideas will be announced soon.

For more information:

Stage 3 – SHARE + learn: WUF10 Abu Dhabi +, 2020

All  submitted Local Projects will be SHARED on line when the award winning projects are announced on January 7, 2020. This permanent exhibition will accelerate awareness of the SDGs, and demonstrate the potential for their mainstreaming and implementation at the local level.  Winning projects will be selected by an international panel that represents the diversity of ‘city makers’ , and will be displayed  in Abu Dhabi at UN Habitat’s World Urban Forum 10 in  February 2020. Travel scholarships will be provided to representatives of winning teams who will attend WUF10 and take part in project events. Post WUF, co-publications and peer to peer city and regional events are planned, including attendance at the UIA (Union of International Architects) Congress, Rio de Janeiro, June 2020.

This project builds on the Global Studio (2005-2012) and People Building Better Cities (2013-2015), summarized here, and supports the increasingly urgent need for climate action.


Project Principals
Anna Rubbo, with Elliott Sclar and Jacqueline Klopp | Center for Sustainable Urban Development, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, New York

Vera Regina Tangari | Faculty of Architecture, Federal University, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Project Associates and CSUD Affiliates
William Chan
, Australia | Silvia Vercher, USA/Spain |  Devangi Ramakrishnan, India | Elaine Angeles, Philippines | Jennifer van den Bussche, South Africa