Remarks at the ECOSOC High-level Political Forum on SDGs in focus: SDG 11 and interlinkages with other SDGs – Sustainable cities and communities

Solomon Greene
Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development.
New York, New York
July 13, 2023


Thank you, Mister President.

Let me begin by emphasizing the commitment of the United States to the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda and all 17 Sustainable Development Goals, grounded in our determination to uphold the inherent dignity of every human being. It is in this context that making urbanization sustainable is an urgent priority for the United States.

We strive to ensure that urban policy and programs at home and abroad serve the most vulnerable, help ease barriers towards upward mobility, create decent and affordable homes, promote equitable community development, and contribute to sustainable living environments for all.

I am pleased to share some of the lessons we have learned at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in with our partners and friends around the world.

Fundamentally, we have learned that we cannot do this work alone.

We know that local governments and civil society are at the forefront of achieving environmental sustainability, economic opportunity, and social inclusion—the three main dimensions of the SDGs.

That’s why we administer our funding locally, through block grants to local governments and local housing authorities, and it is why we pursue more inclusive use of those funds by putting local partners in the driver’s seat.

Local public sector leaders often work side-by-side with community-based organizations and community foundations, whose intimate knowledge of the people and places they serve is an invaluable asset in the effort to solve complex local problems.

Our commitment to supporting local leaders isn’t just reflected in grants. It is fundamental to our approach to research, technical assistance, and policy development activities.

We know there is no one-size-fits-all solution.

The challenges faced by urban areas in the United States are diverse and complex, as they are in cities around the world.

We look forward to continuing to work with our partners around the world to help “make cities inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable” for generations to come.

I thank you.