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SDG11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

With our strong focus on sustainable development there is great potential for ICMM to support the mining and metals industry in making an important and lasting contribution towards the UN’s global goals. We work with members and partners to catalyse lasting social and economic progress that supports an end to poverty, protects the planet and ensures prosperity for all.

SDG11 calls for adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services, and the upgrading of slums, effective urban transport systems, and reduced environmental impact of cities.

Today, almost half of humanity lives in cities - and is set to rise.  Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity and much more. At their best, cities enable people to advance socially and economically. However, many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity while not straining land and resources. Common urban challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure: over 800 million people live in slums. The challenges cities face can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty.

How is this relevant to mining and metals?

The products of mining such as steel, copper and aluminium play a vital role in the construction of cities. They also help connect cities physically and virtually by supporting road, rail and air transport networks as well as ICT infrastructure. While most mining takes place in remote areas, mining companies can contribute to sustainable cities and communities by supporting the development of local infrastructure, involving all stakeholders in land use and settlement planning, implementing cultural heritage plans, and reclaiming mined land into parks and green spaces where appropriate.

What companies need to know to manage impacts or make a positive contribution

  1. The existence and status of development plans for cities or towns local to projects or areas of operation.

  2. How the development of new projects or major expansions may have a direct temporary or long-term impact on local cities or towns.

  3. Whether the development of new projects or major expansions may induce in-migration and thereby have adverse indirect impacts on local cities or towns.

Minimising negative impacts

Maximising positive contributions

  • Proactively manage the recruitment and housing of workers (especially during construction periods) to minimise disruption.

  • Proactively manage induced in-migration with the responsible authorities to mitigate adverse impacts.

  • Engage relevant authorities to ensure project-related infrastructure does not adversely impact with planned infrastructure.

  • Work with local authorities to make employee housing and project-specific infrastructure available for public use post-closure.
  • Collaborate with the responsible authorities on decommissioning options that provide amenity or economic opportunities.
  • Engage relevant authorities to see whether project-related infrastructure could be designed for broader benefit/shared use.