Cities and the Challenge of Sustainable Development

SDG Academy Sustainable Development

Target Audience

Students who are unable to participate in the full-length Sustainable Cities MOOC.


Cities are a core component of the UN’s 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. This mini-series is a companion piece to the SDG Academy’s full-length Sustainable Cities course and also serves as a brief introduction to the topic of urban sustainable development and the SDGs.

From the inclusion of SDG 11 to the emphasis on subnational actors, cities are increasingly recognized as key players in achieving the SDGs. In these five lectures aptly titled, Cities and the Challenge of Sustainable Development, Professor Jeffrey Sachs asks the questions: What does it mean to be a ‘sustainable city’ in the 21st century? And what types of challenges do local governments face in adapting to new technologies, energy systems, modes of transportation and more?

Note: This is an SDG Academy mini-series. Unlike traditional full-length online courses, a mini-series is much shorter in length and will be made available in its entirety on the launch date.

Start Date: Aug 16 2017

Learning Objectives

Course Outline

Part 1: Introduction to the SDGs
Part 2: Why Cities? The Importance of SDG 11
Part 3: The 10-point Agenda for 21st Century Cities
Part 4: Urban Environment and Energy Systems
Part 5: Cities as Hubs of Knowledge