SDGs: Indicator 11.7.1 | Land Portal

Average share of the built-up area of cities that is open space for public use for all, by sex, age and persons with disabilities


Last updated on 1 February 2022

This indicator is currently classified as Tier II. The United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) is the Custodian agency for this indicator.

Unit of measure: Ratio of land allocated to public spaces and the total population with access to these spaces (%).


Why is this indicator important?

Cities work in a sustainable manner when private and public spaces have a symbiotic relationship. Public spaces are often seen as symbols of equality because they tend to be open and available to all members of the public regardless of sex, age, or disability. Yet these spaces have dwindled in urban areas in recent years.

Well-planned and managed public spaces have positive impacts, such as maintaining social inclusion, civic identity, quality of life, productivity, and environmental sustainability. However, the non-provision or privatization of public spaces has brought about increased exclusion and marginalization. City-wide policies and strategies should ensure proper planning, design and management of public spaces at different scales.


How is the indicator measured and monitored?

According to the metadata document, the area of public space is measured based on three steps: 1) spatial analysis to measure built-up areas that refer to urban/city area; 2) identification and estimation of the total area occupied by open public spaces and; 3) estimation of the total area allocated to streets. The data is disaggregated by quality of the open public space (in terms of safety, inclusivity, accessibility, greenness, and comfort), type of open space (e.g., green, blue) as well as age, gender, and disability status.

Most data is collected through urban land use plans, GIS data, or community mapping, in collaboration with national statistical authorities and other stakeholders working on this indicator. Existing data covers 712 cities with new cities being added constantly.


By Anne Hennings, peer-reviewed by Dennis Mwaniki, Spatial Data Expert at UN-Habitat’s Data and Analytics Unit.


Official indicator data

Estimating the area of public space is based on three steps: a) spatial analysis to delimit the built-up area of the city; b) estimation of the total open public space and; c) estimation of the total area allocated to streets.

No official data is currently available.



Other related indicators on Land Portal

In addition to the official indicator data, the following indicators provide information on urban expansion and restrictions on urban land use and ownership.


Process for urban expansion clear, public, respects rights measured on a scale from A - which stands for good practices - to D - reflecting weak practices.

Measurement unit: 
Index (A; D)

Restrictions on urban land use, ownership and transferability measured on a scale from A - which stands for good practices - to D - reflecting weak practices.

Measurement unit: 
Index (A; D)

SDG Land Tracker

Goal 11: Sustainable cities and communities
Target 11.7: By 2030, provide universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces, in particular for women and children, older persons and persons with disabilities

Indicator details

Tier 2

The indicator is conceptually clear, has an internationally established methodology and standards are available, but data is not regularly produced by countries.

Custodian agency: 

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