The global effort for sustainability
will be won, or lost, in the world's cities.
Cities shape the size and growth of the Ecological Footprint,
as our recent report on the Mediterranean region showed. This trend will continue, as 70% to 80% of all people is expected to live in urban areas by 2050.
Consequently, smart city planning and urban development strategies are instrumental to make sure there is enough natural capital and to avoid excessive human demand that would erode it. Examples include energy-efficient buildings, integrated zoning, compact cities, and effective options for people-powered and 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 makes up 14% of humanity’s carbon Footprint.