Do we even need to be talking about this?
Duh…my city has gotten everything I need
I don’t need to move elsewhere to access what I need
I don’t know about you and wherever you are from
Talking about this, is very crucial because
More than half of humanity—3.8 billion people—live in cities today,
and this number will continue to grow.
Because the future will be urban for a majority of people, the solutions to some of the greatest issues facing humans—poverty, climate change, healthcare, education—
must be found in city life.
The goal of speaking about Sustainable Cities and Communities is
to make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable.
Some people are of the view that
95% of urban expansion in the next decades will take place in developing countries!
I want you to take a very close look at your city
What do you see?
What do you like?
I’m sure….just like you and many others who see it this way
That there are numerous challenges with our city
Inequality is a big concern.
828 million people, give or take, live in slums and this number keeps rising.
The levels of urban energy consumption and pollution are also worrying.
Cities occupy just 3 per cent of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80 per cent of energy consumption and 75 per cent of carbon emissions.
Many cities are also more vulnerable to climate change and natural disasters due to their high concentration of people and location
so building urban resilience is crucial to avoid human, social and economic losses.
Remember where we started off from?
I live in a city but I’m not affected by any of these issues. Why should I care?
All these issues will eventually catch up and affect each and every citizen.
Inequality can lead to unrest and insecurity, pollution deteriorates everyone’s health and affects workers’ productivity and
therefore the economy, and natural disasters have the potential to disrupt everyone’s lifestyles.
You might wonder….if we just led the world grow it’s own way
Just the same way we let plants and animals grow
What can happen, in the worst-case scenario?
Well, the cost of poorly planned urbanization can be seen in some of the huge slums, tangled traffic, greenhouse gas emissions and sprawling suburbs all over the world.
Slums are a drag on the Gross Domestic Product, and lower life expectancy.
By choosing to act sustainably we choose to build cities where all citizens live a decent quality of life, and
form a part of the city’s productive dynamic, creating shared prosperity and social stability without harming the environment.
How expensive is it to get up and running sustainable practices for living?
The cost is minimal in comparison with the benefits.
For example, there is a cost to creating a functional public transport network, but the benefits are HUGE in terms of economic activity, quality of life, the environment, and the overall success of a networked city.
As usual, here is what you can do about scoring this particular Sustainable Development Goal
Take an active interest in the governance and management of your city
Take notice of what works, and what doesn’t in your community.
Advocate for the kind of city you believe you need
Develop a vision for your building, street, and
Are there enough jobs?
Are you close to healthcare?
Can your children walk to school safely?
Can you walk with your family at night?
How far is the nearest public transport?
What’s the air quality like?
What are your shared public spaces like?
The better the conditions you create in your community, the greater the effect on quality of life.