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9in10 people living in urban areas worldwide were breathing air that did not meet the World Health Organization’s air quality guidelines


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 network-

ed city.

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. 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. As of May 2020,

the majority of national and city

governments are revisiting

urban planning to help

prevent the



What can I do to help achieve this goal?

Take an active interest in the governance and management of your city. Advocate for the kind of city you believe you need. Develop a vision for your building, street, and neighborhood, and act on that vision.

Are there enough jobs?

Can 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.

What happens if cities are just left to grow organically?



Over 90 per cent of COVID- 19 cases are

occurring in urban areas, with the 1 billion residents

of the world’s densely populated slums being hit the hardest. Even before the coronavirus, rapid urbanization meant that 4 billion people – over half of the global population – in the world’s cities faced worsening air pollution, inadequate infrastructure and services, and unplanned urban sprawl. Successful examples of containing COVID-19 demonstrate

        the remarkable resil- ience and adaptability

                       of urban communities in

                        adjusting to new norms.

What’s the goal here?

To make cities inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

Why should I care?

All these issues will eventually affect 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.

What are some of the most pressing challenges that cities face today?

          Inequality and the levels of urban energy consumption and   

    pollution are some of the challenges. Cities occupy just 3 percent

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.

Is it expensive
to put sustainable practices in place?

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