Cities are hubs for ideas, commerce, culture, science, productivity, social development and much more. At their best, cities have enabled people to advance socially and economically.
However, many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity while not straining land and resources. Common city challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing and declining infrastructure.
The challenges cities face can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty. The future we want includes cities of opportunities, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more for all.
- Half of humanity – 3.5 billion people – live in cities today.
- By 2030, almost 60 per cent of the world’s population will live in urban areas.
- 95 per cent of urban expansion in the next decades will take place in developing world.
- 828 million people live in slums today and the number keeps rising.
- The world’s cities occupy just 2 per cent of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80 per cent of energy consumption and 75 per cent of carbon emissions.
- Rapid urbanization is exerting pressure on fresh water supplies, sewage, the living environment, and public health.
- But the high density of cities can bring efficiency gains and technological innovation while reducing resource and energy consumption.
- UNEP : Cities – investing in energy and resource efficiency
- UNEP Climate Neutral Network
- UNEP: Cities and Climate Change
- ICLEI: Local Governments for Sustainability
Do you have a vision of a sustainable city? Are you looking for ideas to green where you live?
Then join the global conversation and connect on Twitter using #futurewewant