Debates over a new set of goals post-2015 contain plenty of references to the need to take into account urbanisation and urban poverty (United Nations (UN) High Level Panel, 2013; UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, 2013; UN Habitat, 2013b). This acknowledges the fact that more people in developing countries will be living in urban areas over the next decades, particularly in Asia and Africa, and this will have profound economic, social and environmental consequences.
If new development goals are to eradicate extreme income poverty, this means dealing with deprivation in both rural and urban settings, and setting targets and a monitoring framework that provide the incentives to do so. But how can urbanisation and urban poverty -- a dynamic process and cross-cutting issue -- be integrated usefully into a new set of global goals? What lessons can we draw from the way the MDGs dealt with the urban dimension? What are the options currently being proposed for inclusion of an urban dimension in a post-2015 framework? And ultimately how can global aspirations be married with local contexts?
Building on a review of urbanisation and poverty trends, past experience with the MDGs, existing proposals on the table, and examples of how a framework can effect change, this paper proposes five steps to integrate an urban dimension into a new development framework.