Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities

In recent decades the world has seen cities that have evolved, to such a huge scale that megacities have developed, creating a vast metropolis for millions of citizens. Urbanisation, is increasing worldwide and up to 50% of global citizens live in a city, and this figure is expected to continue to rise.

Cities drive forward economic growth but conversely cause around 70% of global carbon emissions. When urbanisation arises in areas that cannot provide services or infrastructure to support citizens, such as water and sanitation, roads and transport, and waste collection, this has a detrimental effect on health and the food supplies for those involved.

Approximately one billion people live in slums or informal settlements and prevent people from being able to self-isolate or be socially distant, when trying to take protective measures to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.

It is envisaged that food poverty could increase in urbanised areas and this problem needs to be tackled to prevent the poor and vulnerable, going hungry or even dying. The UN food agency believes it is imperative to act swiftly to try to resolve this situation.

Find out more about Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities.

Teaching and learning

Sustainable Cities and Communities are a complex subject matter and at the University of Liverpool, students are able to explore these causes and solutions from a number of different perspectives within course modules.  Examples of course modules that have a direct or indirect focus on sustainable cities and communities (as assessed by students) include:       

We recognise that there is much more to do to equip students with the knowledge and skills that they need to make a contribution to achieving this global goal. Working with the Guild of Students our undergraduates and postgraduates have the opportunity to audit their curriculum modules for their relevance to SDG11: Sustainable cities and communities and to make recommendations for changes to the course content.  For more information on how students can get involved see the Guild curriculum audit report.

The University has also established a Built Environment Working Group and Travel and Transport Working Group. These groups bring together academics, students and representatives from the Centre for Innovation in Education to develop a strategic plan for embedding SDGs into the curriculum including SDG11.  

There are also a number of ways that students can support the aims and objectives of SDG11 through extra-curricula activities, including through volunteering opportunities provided by the Guild of Students.

Research and knowledge exchange

The University contributes to the identification of the root problems that are by caused sustainable cities and communities and the potential solutions across many areas of research. Some key examples are:

Leadership, governance and professional services

Examples of leadership, governance and professional services include:

Season Ticket Loan Scheme

The University offers employees the opportunity to benefit from an interest-free loan to purchase either Merseyrail PassesTrio Public Transport Passes, or National Rail Season Tickets. The Season Ticket Loan Scheme allows staff to benefit from an annual cost saving and provides the convenience of spreading the cost over 12 monthly payments, taken directly from salary. Staff also receive one free month of travel in July, there is no salary deduction and it is paid for by the University.

Cycle to work scheme

The University offers employees the opportunity to benefit from a hire agreement in exchange for cycle vouchers to purchase a bicycle and cycle equipment to the value of between £100 and £1000 providing the convenience of spreading the cost over 12 monthly payments, taken directly from salary. The vouchers are non-taxable and exempt from National Insurance. 

Merseytravel Cycle Discount Scheme

University employees can take advantage of cycle discounts on the production of their workplace ID & quoting the Merseytravel Employers’ Network scheme.


The University offers employees the opportunity to benefit from a 20% discount when signing up for an annual citybike membership to save money on city business travel and reduce their carbon footprint. The discount can be obtained by signing up for an annual membership with their University email address and inputting a discount voucher code.

Car Share Scheme 

The University’s Car Share Scheme enables staff to save money on petrol, parking and vehicle running costs, by commuting with other members of staff who live on the same route to campus. As a car share group, you also have the option to apply for access to the dedicated car share bays outside the Hart Building, to make the search for a space much easier. The scheme is open to all employees, including non-drivers, so passengers may also register and search for a match.

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