UN-HABITAT is supporting the development of a Sustainable Urban Development Network (SUD-Net), an innovative network of global partners working with actors and networks to promote a multi-lateral and inter-disciplinary approach to sustainable urban development. The overall aim is to work at the local level to build the capacities of national governments, strengthen the power of decision-makers of local authorities and by promoting the inclusion of the community in the decision-making process.
Cities play a vital role in the social and economic development of countries. Efficient cities allow for sustainable settlements and strong urban economies are essential for improving infrastructure, education and health, living conditions, and poverty alleviation. One of the biggest costs to cities is environmental degradation: it compounds inequities and threatens the sustainability of development, but it is preventable with the right planning and management. The impact of rapid urbanization on human settlements has both positive and negative impacts, but more often than not, the negative impacts slow down progress in attaining development goals.
SUD-net is a response to UN-HABITAT’s global responsibility towards sustainable urban settlements. It is recognised that there is still a lack of adequate access, relevant forums for interaction and the necessary human, technical and financial capacities for promoting sustainable urban development. Promoting sustainable urban development is therefore a priority for most urban development partners reflected in most urban policies.
Despite the existing knowledge on the impacts of rapid urban population growth and environmental changes, decision-makers and managers in many developing and least developed countries still lack the necessary capacities to leverage resources and to implement sustainable urban development policies. SUD-Net serves as a key network hub for sustainable urbanization and will support cities to mobilise partners and networks, build partnerships, implement innovative, pro-poor projects and stimulate learning and knowledge sharing of good practice.