Nowadays more than half of the world´s population lives in cities. Urbanization is viewed as the primary cause of many problems, but also as the primary stage for more sustainable development in the 21st century.
But the increasing and ongoing urbanization changes the economic, social, environmental and political setup of cities and can have several negative impacts related to economic and social inequities and environmental damage.
At the same time the global sustainability challenges intensifies. Especially cities need to become more sustainable; they need to abolish their dependence on the unsustainable management of resources like water, energy and food.
For the first time in history, more than 50% of the world´s population lives in urban areas. It is calculated that the number will rise up to 70% in the year 2050. (World Health Organization, 2010) The Earth´s capacity to provide life-supporting resources, such as clean air and water is systematically decreasing. Resources are consumed at a faster rate than nature can replace and the demand on resources continues to increase as the world´s population and consumption increases.
This causes massive environmental, economic and social problems such as pollution, climate change, ecological degradation, unemployment, health issues and food insecurity. (World watch Institute 2007) One concept which is often talked about to “solve” those problems is “Urban Sustainable Development”.
Source: Blekinge Institute of Technology
Author: Böber, Elisabeth