/SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Create inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and settlements

Icon SDG11


Anke Struever
University of Graz
Tel: +43 316 380 5138

Helmuth Kreiner
Graz University of Technology
Tel: +43 316 873 7154

Agenda 2030

The sustainability of cities and communities can be seen in different elements. Buildings play an important role in this context – not only concerning the ecological footprint while building and operating the buildings (target 11.6), but also regarding social aspects in the sense of basic public services and adequate, safe and affordable housing (target 11.1).

At least as important is a holistic view on urban and public planning aspects: Therefore, green areas and other public spaces should be safe and easily accessible for disadvantaged persons (target 11.7). That is valid for sustainable mobility systems as walking and cycling and especially the public transport as well (target 11.2).

The rise the percentage of green spaces and the reduction of traffic are important of the improvement of the air quality in urban spaces (target 11.6).

To find good solutions, local communities on a neighborhood scale have to be integrated in urban planning (target 11.3). In this context, protection from natural catastrophes has to be addressed (target 11.5).

Moreover the amount of waste should be reduced and the environmental protection in waste processing should be improved (target 11.6).

Situation in Austria

SDG 11 contains a big number of topics that address people’s everyday life as well as their communal living together. The combination of different places like private rooms and public spaces like kindergartens, schools, shops, restaurants and workplaces, and the numerous everyday activities lead to a multiple network of ecological, social and economic relations. These relations are embedded in interactions between the build space and living structures, their concepts and planning as well as their impact on everyday practices and the life qualities of inhabitants. So they are important pillars of a sustainable development of Austrian cities and communities.

In Austria, especially in cities the negative impacts on environmental and health are still too high. The rising number of impervious surfaces and the danger of natural catastrophes are problems as well.

Challenges for SDG 11 are the strongly fragmented responsibilities, the federalism and the structural differences between urban and rural areas.

For a sustainable transformation of Austrian cities and communities there is a need for action on the social, the economic and the ecological level. Besides ensuring the public services cities and communities need a higher resilience and a higher living quality in general.

Option list

(based on the options report to be published)

The options elaborated by the SDG groups are to serve as a means of communicating to the federal government which concrete options can be set by Austria in order to implement the 2030 Agenda with its 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The options report will be published on 02.12.2021.

  • Option 11.1: Institutionalise housing at federal level to promote holistic and diverse housing concepts
  • Option 11.2: Promotion of active mobility
  • Option 11.3: Promote public transport in smaller towns and municipalities in rural areas
  • Option 11.4: Settlement development that promotes local mobility & public transport
  • Option 11.5: Making interstitial spaces accessible for community-inclusive neighbourhood design (urban commoning)
  • Option 11.6: Eliminate fragmentation of competences in natural hazards law
  • Option 11.7: Create awareness for renaturation
  • Option 11.8: Create clearly defined areas of responsibility between state guarantee and individual responsibility
  • Option 11.9: Protecting the environment in waste management processes
  • Option 11.10: Greenhouse gas emission bonus/malus for public buildings
  • Option 11.11: Common space: neighbourhood-oriented everyday economy and co-production of inclusive green spaces



  • Graz University of Technology (TU Graz): Helmut Kreiner*, Marco Scherz
  • University of Graz (KFU): Anke Strüver*, Christian Kozina


  • Danube University Krems (DUK): Floegl Helmut, Anna Kaiser
  • Graz University of Technology (TU Graz): Alexander Passer, Antonija Wieser
  • Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU): Lydia Burgstaller*, Erika Wagner
  • University of Graz (KFU): Andreas Exner, Andrea Jany*
  • University of Innsbruck (UIBK): Anke Bockreis, Tabea Bork-Hüffer*, Lukas Emrich, Markus Mailer*
  • University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences, Vienna (BOKU): Astrid Allesch, Astrid Gühnemann, Veronika Hebenstreit,
    Martin Hinteregger, Marion Huber-Humer

* Target coordinators