Creating smart, green and liveable cities
By 2030, six out of ten people will live in urban areas. City dwellers must contend with increased congestion, waste and water management issues as well as overcrowded, polluting transportation systems. All of this poses direct negative effects on citizens’ physical health and wellbeing. This is the reason why the United Nations has chosen to focus specifically on sustainable cities and communities in their Sustainable Development Goal number 11 (SDG 11).
But how do we get there? The transition to sustainable cities depends on social, cultural, economic and climatic factors. In the fast-growing cities of developing economies, basic needs such as energy, water, and mobility should be met sustainably, while resources are managed effectively. In cities located in more developed economies, smart approaches are needed to ensure that cities are optimised for economic activity, energy consumption and environmental impact.
Regardless of a city’s particular state of development, ensuring ‘the good life’ for urban citizens should be a guiding principle. To meet the challenges of urbanisation, we need to take a holistic approach when developing urban areas and make the necessary investments.
However, if we can harness the might of cities to accelerate the transition to inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities and communities, we can meet the SDG 11. In this way, there will be room for all of us to live and thrive in the cities of the future.