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Cities, the driving force behind the sustainable development of the planet

Cities, the driving force behind the sustainable development of the planet

  • Every week, in the world, a million and a half people move their home from rural environments to urban environments.

     

Overall, cities represent more than half of the world economy and more than two-thirds of global energy consumption. Every week, in the world, a million and a half people move their home from rural environments to urban environments. Cities are engines of economic progress and citizen welfare, and in 30 years they will already receive 75% of the world’s population. However, this same process of unprecedented urbanization raises major challenges for urban management, especially related to access to housing, access to basic services, planning of mobility in cities or the environmental sustainability of urban areas. This transformation and the effects you are having on the climate.

So much so that the Habitat III United Nations Conference acknowledged the prevailing need for a planned and sustainable urbanization of cities, and so agreed to by signing the New Urban Agenda, in October 2016, in Quito. It is a roadmap for urban development of the next 20 years, which highlights the crucial role of cities for the sustainable and socially equitable development of the planet.

 

And the persistence of poverty, growing inequalities and environmental degradation are the most challenging obstacles to sustainable development around the world. Far from advocating for an equitable distribution of economic growth and the wealth generated, in recent decades, inequalities have been shown in cities and the increasing pressure that is being exerted towards natural resources. Today, half of the world’s population lives in cities. And today, half of the world’s population does not have access to the internet.

The New Urban Agenda, as well as highlighting the Millennium Development Goals of the United Nations (SDG in its English acronym), show how information, technology and internet play a decisive role in the achievement of the aforementioned Objectives and in urban development, allowing a more efficient urbanization and scaling up and spreading urban projects and solutions in less developed and favored areas.

 

Internet is changing our habits

The accelerator role that technology has in these transformations and as a catalyst for effective solutions to global problems is indisputable. The Internet has revolutionized the way we learn, communicate and work. The Internet has allowed socializing knowledge and universal access to information. In the cities, the technology allows to move towards the Smart Cities, giving intelligence the management and the urban policy; In short, generating efficient cities that maximize resources and make efficient, reasonable and respectful use for and with the citizen, in order to improve their well-being and continue generating local wealth in a sustainable way.

If the Internet is changing our habits, how we communicate, how we organize, and even how we experience our environment, how to avoid the Internet and have a radical effect on cities, how they are organized and how it is Communicate with the citizens, where citizen participation is not a trend is already a reality, and a clear factor for transparency.

To the big question of how cities should evolve and evolve to ensure a sustainable, socially equitable, secure and resilient development, the central question is how we make the benefits of technological advances, with the Internet at the forefront, reaching every citizen And every corner of the world.

 

21 / 02 / 2017

Maria Galindo

Manager Innovation, Smart – International Business at Doxa Innova & Smart

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