2. Achieving Sustainable Development Goals with pgRouting

2.1. History

The UN OpenGIS initiative along with OSGeo Foundation organized the OSGeo UN Committee Educational Challenge where Challenge 2 was to create Workshop material for pgRouting. The challenge supports the objectives of the OSGeo UN Committee, i.e. promoting the development and use of open-source software that meets UN needs and supports the aims of the UN. pgRouting is not only useful for routing cars on roads but it can also be used to analyse water distribution networks, river flow or the connectivity of an electricity network. Currently, this workshop expands the pgRouting workshop by addressing Three of the Seventeen Sustainable Development Goals

2.2. United Nations

UN Flag

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The United Nations (UN) is an intergovernmental organization founded in 1945 that aims to maintain international peace and security and develop friendly relations among nations to achieve international cooperation. The UN has its headquarters in New York City in an international territory and has other main offices in Geneva, Nairobi, Vienna, and The Hague.

The Major Objectives of the UN are to:

  • Maintain International Peace and Security

  • Protect Human Rights

  • Deliver Humanitarian Aid

  • Support Sustainable Development and Climate Action

  • Uphold International Law

2.3. What are the Sustainable Development Goals?


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The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are 17 interconnected goals that were adopted by the United Nations in 2015 as a universal call to all the nations to take action to end poverty, hunger protects the planet from the overexploitation by global cooperation. UN aims to achieve the goals by ensuring that all people enjoy peace and prosperity. The seventeen goals are integrated and they recognize that action in one domain will affect outcomes in others. The goals also promote that the development must balanced ensuring social, economic and environmental sustainability. Countries have committed to prioritizing progress for those who’s furthest behind. The following table gives an overview of all the Sustainable Development Goals.

Overview of UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Goal Number

Goal Name


Goal 1

No Poverty

End poverty in all its forms everywhere

Goal 2

Zero Hunger

End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition and promote sustainable agriculture

Goal 3

Good Health and Well Being

Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Goal 4

Quality Education

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Goal 5

Gender Equality

Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls

Goal 6

Clean Water and Sanitation

Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all

Goal 7

Affordable and Clean Energy

Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all

Goal 8

Decent Work and Economic Growth

Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment and decent work for all

Goal 9

Industry Innovation and Infrastructure

Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialization and foster innovation

Goal 10

Reduced Inequalities

Reduce inequality within and among countries

Goal 11

Sustainable Cities and Communities

Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Goal 12

Responsible Consumption and Production

Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns

Goal 13

Climate Action

Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts

Goal 14

Life Below Water

Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development

Goal 15

Life on Land

Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification, and halt and reverse land degradation and halt biodiversity loss

Goal 16

Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions

Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels

Goal 17

Partnerships for the Goals

Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalize the global partnership for sustainable development

More on Sustainable Development Goals can be found at this link.

Currently this workshop addresses three of the seventeen Sustainable Development Goals and covers the following:

  • Data for Sustainable Development Goals

  • UN SDG 3: Good Health and Well Being

  • UN SDG 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities

  • UN SDG 7: Affordable and Clean Energy

2.4. Target Audience

This educational material can be used by researchers, educators and in local,regional, national or international agencies who have some knowledge of PostGIS and PostgreSQL, and want to teach themselves how to use pgRouting. It is recommended to have a basic knowledge of database management systems and geospatial data structures and formats.

2.5. Prerequisites for UN SDG Exercises

  • Workshop level: Advanced

  • Previous knowledge: SQL (PostgreSQL, PostGIS), a brief idea about the applications of GIS and pgRouting

  • Brief idea about applications of GIS and pgRouting

  • System Requirements: This workshop uses OSGeoLive (The latest available version)

  • Basic chapters pgRouting Workshop