Call for Papers for a Special Issue on Sustainable Cities
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14 Jan 2016 - Deadline for submission: 15 February 2016

More than half of the world’s population lives in cities and urban areas. With continuing rural to urban migration, the world’s urban population is widely expected to continue to grow, possibly reaching 60 per cent by 2030. As stated by the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, “Our struggle for global sustainability will be won or lost in cities. The human future is largely an urban future. We must get urbanization right, which means reducing greenhouse emissions, strengthening resilience, ensuring basic services such as water and sanitation and designing safe public streets and spaces for all to share."

The global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), adopted by the UN General Assembly in September 2015, include SDG 11, which calls upon countries to make cities more inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Further global dialogue on a new sustainable urban agenda will take place in October 2016 at the UN Habitat III Conference to be held in Quito, Ecuador. To promote understanding and global awareness of critical urban issues, as well as to contribute to the intergovernmental debate on cities and sustainable urban development, Natural Resources Forum, a United Nations Sustainable Development Journal calls for papers for a Special Issue on Sustainable Cities, to be published in 2016.

Articles submitted for this special Natural Resources Forum issue should be relevant to policymaking, with a focus on applied research and/or case studies. The editorial team will give priority to articles that assess critical urban issues and development trends, discuss pertinent indicators, highlight sustainable urban development policy options, showcase good and best practices, and contribute to shared knowledge on effective urban planning. The editorial team invites research and discussion papers for review and selective publication, so as to advance achievement of SGD 11 on sustainable cities in any of its specific target areas.

Topics of interest include national, regional and local urban development policies and programmes that have proven successful and demonstrated replicability, in particular with regard to SDG 11’s target areas: (a) ensuring access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services; (b) providing access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, (c) enhancing participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries, (d) strengthening efforts to protect and safeguard the urban cultural and natural heritage, (e) providing improved access to safe, inclusive and accessible green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities, (f) enhancing efficiency of resource use in urban areas, including through measures to improve urban air quality, and through improved management of municipal or other waste, (g) enhancing preparedness and resilience to disasters with a view to reduce human and economic losses, and (h) supporting positive economic, social and environmental links between urban, peri-urban and their surrounding rural areas.

Articles should contain original material and should be between 6,000 and 8,000 words in length. Contributions to the journal are accepted at the NRF manuscript submission site at:

Author guidelines may be consulted at:

Questions and comments may be addressed to:
United Nations