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11 Reasons the UN Should Make Cities the Focus of Its Forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals

Cities stand at the very center of each and every one of the biggest challenges the world now faces. 
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Last week I attended the seventh World Urban Forum in Medellín, Colombia, where more than 20,000 city leaders, urbanists, and planners from more than 160 countries met to discuss the future of cities across the globe.

While there, I called for the United Nations to make cities the centerpiece of its forthcoming Sustainable Development Goals, which are intended to replace the Millennium Development Goals that have guided its economic, social, and human development programs since 2000. In his closing remarks to the Forum, Joan Clos, the Executive Director of the United Nations Human Settlement Program and former mayor of Barcelona, also called for cities to be at the at the forefront of the new goals, a point that was echoed by Eugénie Birch, a professor of Urban Research at the University of Pennsylvania and the chair of the World Urban Campaign.