A sustainable city is one that has been able to introduce greenery into CO2 emissions and improve the air quality, promoted renewable energies to conserve and protect natural resources that has successfully implemented sustainable mobility and the use of public transport and committed to economy.

More than half of the people lives in cities. According to 2050 report, about 6.5 billion people will live in urban areas. The sustainable development cannot be achieved without the management of urban spaces. The increase in population and increasing migration has led to move in mega cities and then the slums are becoming significant feature of the urban life in the developing countries. About 828 million people are estimated to live in slums, and the number is rising. In developing world about 90% urban expansion in the coming decades.

The sustainable cities mean it creating of career and have business opportunities, safe and affordable housing, strong societies and economies. Somehow, it involves investment in public transport, creating green public spaces, and improving urban planning and management in participatory and complete ways.

In 2018, 55 percent (4.2 billion) of the world population lives in cities, by 2050 it increases and expected to reach 6.5 billion. Approximately, in many Asia and the Pacific, the cities generate 80% of the gross domestic product and it is the engines of economic growth that have helped in decrease in poverty.

Many of the cities faces environmental degradation, traffic congestion, inadequate urban infrastructure, and lack of basic services, such as water supply, sanitation, and waste management. In cities, the environmental footprint reached to alarming situation and that ultimately threaten the natural resources that required to sustain the economic development and poverty alleviation rates.

SDGs for cities:

The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) help the states and stakeholders members to achieve relevant SDGs on cities including SDG 11 (Sustainable cities and communities) with mainly focus on access to basic services and shelters, sustainable transportation system, sustainable urbanization, access to public spaces, sustainable housing system, and policies towards climate change mitigation and disaster risk reduction.

Singapore is the most sustainable city in Asia, and it is the second in the world. In 2030, it is estimated that the population of the city will exceed to 6 million inhabitants, therefore, the government has mainly focused on improving the mobility and connectivity within the city. Further, the city has set an ambitious goal to making at least 80% of its building “greenery”.

A sustainable world means working together to create prosperity for all.

About the Author: Aqsa Abid has done BS in Environmental sciences from GC Women University Sialkot. She is a green blogger and member of The Eco Club Pakistan. She is also a climate activist.

Editor: Muhammad Nazim