SEEK: Salford Environment for Expertise and Knowledge

Journal Article (Refereed)
December 2015

Developing and testing the Urban Sustainable Development Goals targets and indicators: a five-city study

Simons, D & Arfvidsson, H & Anand, G & Bazaz, A & Fenna, F & Foster, K & Hansson, S & Evans, L M & Moodley, N & Nyambuga, C & Oloko, M & Ombara, D C & Patel, Z & Perry, B & Primo, N & Revi, A & Niekerk, B V & Wharton, A & Wright, C 2015, 'Developing and testing the Urban Sustainable Development Goals targets and indicators: a five-city study', Environment and Urbanization.


The campaign for the inclusion of a specifically urban goal within the United Nations. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) was challenging. Numerous divergent interests were involved, while urban areas worldwide are also extremely heterogeneous. It was essential to minimize the number of targets and indicators while still capturing critical urban dimensions relevant to human development. It was also essential to test the targets and indicators. This paper reports the findings of a unique comparative pilot project involving co-production between researchers and local authority officials in five diverse secondary and intermediate cities: Bangalore (Bengaluru), India; Cape Town, South Africa; Gothenburg, Sweden; Greater Manchester, United Kingdom; and Kisumu, Kenya. Each city faced problems in providing all the data required, and each also proposed various changes to maximize the local relevance of particular targets and indicators. This reality check provided invaluable inputs to the process of finalizing the urban SDG prior to the formal announcement of the entire SDG set by the UN Secretary-General in late September 2015.


SEEK Members

External Authors

C Wright

A Wharton

A Revi

B Van Niekerk

Z Patel

N Primo

M Oloko

D Chandi Ombara

N Moodley

C Nyambuga

S Hansson

L Marix Evans

F Fenna

K Foster

G Anand

A Bazaz

D Simons

H Arfvidsson

Publication Details

Journal Name
Environment and Urbanization