With the shift towards a more urbanised world, urban development has been held up as the key to achieving sustainability. The inclusion of an SDG goal dedicated to human settlements shows the importance of cities and metropolitan governments as critical actors to creating built environments that are conducive to the principles of good governance, economic development, sustainability, social cohesion, gender equality and good quality of life for all inhabitants. Cities and metropolitan governments are faced with the task of planning and providing a series of services that have a direct impact on the everyday life of inhabitants. And there is one area where all these services and decisions crystallise: public space. Examples of policies, programmes and projects related to public space show how cities and metropolitan governments recognise the value of public space as a driving force for sustainable urban development and are using public space to improve conditions at a local level.
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