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From MDGs to SDGs - Now a Dedicated Global Goal for Cities

On Sunday, August 2nd 2015, UN Member States reached an agreement on the draft outcome document “Transforming Our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development” that will constitute the New Sustainable Development Agenda and which will be formally adopted by UN member states in New York this September. 

The 17 new Sustainable  Development Goals (SDGs) that replace the previous Millennium  Development Goals (MDGs) are presented in the document. Cities were not represented specifically in the MDGs, now, in the new SDGs, one of the 17 Goals for the new 2030 Agenda is dedicated to addressing cities – “Goal 11: Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.”


As this important new document moves forward in the UN, the Global Cities Institute at the University of Toronto and its near decade of work in building globally standardized indicators for cities, culminating in the 2014 publication of the first ISO Standard for Cities – ISO 37120 – becomes a strategic partner for governments worldwide to set specific city targets and build globally standardized data to inform progress in achieving SDG Goal 11.


ISO 37120 becomes a critical tool for tracking progress on Goal 11 and the Global Cities Institute and its partner organization – the World Council on City Data (WCCD) – are now working with the first 100 cities globally to be ISO 37120 certified, therein building a global open data platform to inform building more sustainable, resilient, inclusive and prosperous cites.


This is an exciting time for cities, academia, all levels of government, corporate partners and international organizations worldwide, and we look forward to working with all of you as dedicated colleagues in this global effort.