Sustainable Cities and Communities
Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable
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. With the number of people living within cities projected to rise to 5 billion people by 2030, it’s important that efficient urban planning and management practices are in place to deal with the challenges brought by urbanization.
Many challenges exist to maintaining cities in a way that continues to create jobs and prosperity without straining land and resources. Common urban challenges include congestion, lack of funds to provide basic services, a shortage of adequate housing, declining infrastructure and rising air pollution within cities.
Rapid urbanization challenges, such as the safe removal and management of solid waste within cities, can be overcome in ways that allow them to continue to thrive and grow, while improving resource use and reducing pollution and poverty. One such example is an increase in municipal waste collection. There needs to be a future in which cities provide opportunities for all, with access to basic services, energy, housing, transportation and more.
This Goal and Architecture
The built environment is crucial to the development of sustainable cities and communities.
Architecture, design and planning contribute in multiple ways to make cities and settlements inclusive, safe, robust, resilient and environmentally sustainable. Among key contributions are design and planning that secure affordable, accessible and healthy housing, as well as infrastructure which through design help reduce pollution from transportation, by enabling walking, biking and commuting by public transport. Furthermore, infrastructure can enhance mobility and accessibility between parts of a city, as well as between city, suburbia and rural areas.
Urban design can contribute to include all citizens and reduce the risk of exclusion and assault. As part of this, consideration of the needs of marginalized and disenfranchised citizens should be included from the early stages of planning, and all levels of stakeholders should be involved in the process. Urban design should also help reduce and counteract the environmental impacts of overuse, traffic, waste, noise and light pollution in urban areas. Individual buildings as well as building complexes and settlements must be developed to increase resilience and robustness in the face of climate change and include vegetation and green areas to help counteract the loss of vegetation and biodiversity caused by urban growth. Examples of this span broadly and can be found in housing renewal projects, in climate adaptation plans, in collective reuse stations, in pocket parks and in bike path expansions.
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