Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
Although the rural population exceeds the urban one in the Republic of Moldova, the country’s economic activities are concentrated in the urban areas. Thus, the Chisinau municipality attracts about 60 per cent of total industrial production, 70 per cent of long-term investments and half of the employees. This exposes the rural population to higher poverty risks; at the same time, it places burdens on the urban settlements, namely on the efficiency of their administration, as well as on cities’ environmental impact. Another issue is the poor connectivity among human settlements due to the poor quality of roads infrastructure: according to the Global Competitiveness Report 2016–2017, Moldova is ranked 132nd on quality of roads and 110th on quality of overall infrastructure (out of 138 countries). This affects vulnerable groups of the population, namely the poor, disabled and elderly, and makes the issue of their limited access to basic public services more acute.
The 2030 Agenda addresses these issues through the modernization of the transportation system, so that it will better connect cities and human settlements, and so that it will be affordable, accessible and sustainable, to ensure that all the citizens of Moldova benefit from the urbanization process. It also aims to develop a polycentric urban system, implying more jobs and economic opportunities closer to people living outside the capital city. In addition, the Agenda will improve the way cities and human settlements are organized and managed. An emphasis is put on increasing the access to green and public spaces, reducing the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, as well as reducing the direct economic losses caused by disasters. At the same time, the Agenda envisages the conservation and safeguarding of the country’s cultural and natural heritage, which can spur tourism and could revive economic activity outside the capital city, including in rural areas. Additionally, to mitigate the social risks of the urbanization processes, the Agenda puts an emphasis on access to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services for socially vulnerable people and young families.