Beyond Smart Cities: It’s Time for Urban Sustainable Development

Beyond Smart Cities: It’s Time for Urban Sustainable Development

Publication date:
06/2014
Author:
Josep Maria Coll, Associate Senior Researcher, CIDOB
Download

Notes internacionals CIDOB, núm. 92

Since 2008, the majority of the world’s population lives in cities. More than 70% of the global GDP is begotten in cities. Icons of the financial markets, cities attract talent, forge creativity, boost entrepreneurship and witness mass consumption. Fast increasing urbanization has become the flagship of globalization. By 2050, UN estimations picture an eminently urban planet with 75% of citizens worldwide, mainly in developing nations. Therefore, cities are the cradle of both opportunities and challenges alike. It is no doubt that cities stand at the center of the biggest global challenges: climate change, pollution and energy; employment creation and economic development; poverty and inequality; sustainability and resilience; crime, safety and security; freedom and democracy; efficient and effective delivery of public goods. With the long term vision to transforming the world into a better place to live, the Seventh World Urban Forum –hosted in Medellin- pledged at converting cities “into inclusive, safe, prosperous and harmonious spaces for all”. Against this backdrop, the rationale behind targeting cities’ development seems directly conducive to global development. A better urban future will be better off for the vast majority. Indeed, the core message of the Urban Forum -organized by UN Habitat- advocated cities for playing a central role of the forthcoming UN led Sustainable Development Goals. The new goals will replace the Millennium Development Goals as the framework policy guiding the international development agenda.

>> Full text in pdf file