The global effort for sustainability
will be won, or lost, in the world's cities.

If we reduced driving by 50% around the world, and opt for walking, biking or taking public transit instead, Earth Overshoot Day would move back 10 days.


Cities today shoulder the largest responsibility in the size and the growth of the Ecological Footprint,

as our recent report on the Mediterranean region showed. This trend will continue, as 70% to 80% of the global population is expected to live in urban areas by 2050.

Consequently, smart city planning and urban development strategies are instrumental to balancing the supply of natural capital and human demand for it. Examples include energy-efficient buildings and adequate public transportation.

UN Sustainable Development Goal 11 Sustainable Cities and Communities features several 2030 targets, including:

  • reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities.
  • provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, notably by expanding public transport.
  • enhance inclusive and sustainable urbanization and capacity for participatory, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management in all countries.


In particular, city planning can play a major role in shaping our need for cars. It matters because personal transportation is responsible for 14% of the global carbon Footprint.

How will YOU move the date?

Check out a related pledge and #movethedate!

UN Sustainable Development Goals

In September 2015, 193 world leaders agreed to 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to extreme poverty, inequality, and climate change by 2030. To be sustainable, development ultimately must also fit within our planet’s resource budget.