Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable

April 19, 2021

“Cities occupy just 3 per cent of the Earth’s land, but account for 60-80 per cent of energy consumption and 75 per cent of carbon emissions.”

“Over 90 per cent of COVID19 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 corona virus, 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.”

An important subtopic of urban life is transport. “Transport drives development, links people, connects local communities to the world, builds markets and facilitates trade.”  Transportation is fundamental, but has huge environmental impacts which can be diminished by responsible individual and social actions. “Sustainable transport is the provision of services and infrastructure for the mobility of people and goods…in a manner that is safe, affordable, accessible, efficient, and resilient, while minimizing carbon and other emissions and environmental impacts.”  

SDG 11 is about making cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable Targets are related to upgrading slums, developing public transport systems, integrated and sustainable human settlement planning and management, protecting the poor and people in vulnerable situations, reducing per capita environmental impact and providing universal access to safe, inclusive and accessible, green and public spaces.

Related to public transport the target is, by 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations.

During the first wave of pandemic, employers and employees realized that remote working and even distance learning can be effective and efficient. This crisis gives us the opportunity to recognize that some of our transport needs can be avoided as our presence in person can be partly replaced by online methods. After the pandemic companies and universities should sustain the flexible and at least partly remote working opportunities for avoiding some transport burdens.

At the same time we can personally shift our transport towards more eco-friendly alternatives: take bicycle or public transport instead of car, use car-sharing services or take a walk.

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