The recently adopted United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) set forth an intergovernmental plan for eradicating global poverty in all its forms and dimensions. Multiple relationships exist among the 17 goals. A challenge going forward is to better understand the interrelation between them and how policies towards their realisation could complement each other. Institutions working on specific areas of sustainable development tend to explore and focus and explore limited aspects of the map. Their policy messages emphasize the importance of specific links.

The following study provides an overview of the various links between the sustainable development goals throughout key policy documents - with a specific focus on the message that relates to urban development (SDG 11).For this purpose, we have developed an automated classifier to identify how certain texts relate to specific aspects and how these focus areas might be addressed in relation to each other. The classifier has been trained on the basis of the formulation of SDGs and their pertaining targets.

We have provided several visualisations of the classification results with more detailed explanation. Moreover, a demo version of the classification tool is, while further information regarding the used approach and methodology behind it can be retrieved through the following link: http://parc.herokuapp.com/file/2014WouterEekhout.pdf

The training set and built upon the formulation of the SDGs and their pertaining targets can be found here, while the reports analysed as part of this project can be accessed through the following here.

The project details can be found here.

Reference to SDGs within UN system flagship reports

Note: The left column represents the SDGs (1-17). The width of each segment is proportional to the amount of texts relating to a specific SDGs within the whole set. The right column features the analysed reports. The width of each segment reflects the absolute amount of texts classified as pertaining to a specific SDG within the specific source. Links from left to right represent the interrelation between a SDG and a specific report. The width of the links is proportional to the number of related messages in each report.

Links between SDGs made within UN system flagship reports

Note: The outer layer of the circle represents the SDGs (1 - 17). The width of each segment is proportional to the amount of texts relating one SDG to another. The lines represent links between two specific SDGs within the whole set. The width of the lines indicates the total amount of texts constituting such links.

SDGName
1No Poverty
2Zero Hunger
3Good Health and Well-Being
4Quality Education
5Gender Equality
6Clean Water and Sanitation
7Affordable and Clean Energy
8Decent Work and Economic Growth
9Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
10Reduced Inequalities
11Sustainable Cities and Communities
12Responsible Consumption and Production
13Climate Action
14Life Below Water
15Life on Land
16Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions
17Partnerships for the Goals

Links between urban development and other SDGs made within UN system flagship reports [1]

Note: The size of each segment represents the total amount of links between the SDG related to urban development (SDG11: ‘Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable’) and other SDGs within the whole set.

Links between urban development and other SDGs made within UN system flagship reports [2]

Note: The left column represents SDGs, 1-17 and with exception of SDG 11 (Sustainable Cities and Communities). The width of each segment is proportional to the number of messages in the whole sample that address them in connection with SDG 11. The right column features the analyzed reports. The width of each segment reflects the number of references to SDG 11 contained in each report. Links from left to right represent ideas linking education and other SDGs, allocated to each report. The width of the links is proportional to the number of related messages in each report

Demo tool (upload your own text + demo snippets)

The tool enables to classify certain segments of text in relation to the SDGs. The extent to which the overall segment relates to each singular SDGs is represented in the bar chart - with 0 indicating that the text did not pertain to any specific SDG. Subsequently it is indicated per sentence to which extent it relates to one or more SDGs. When hovering over a sentence, ratings are provided of the weight with which it relates to the specific SDGs. Further information is provided down below, indicating upon the basis of which words and with the pertaining weight the classification has been established.

Feel free to submit and classify your own text!