Cities and communities
  • To make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable will involve many innovations and progress in many areas such as:
    • Buildings – building for the future means ensuring buildings are sustainable, including access for all to adequate, safe and affordable housing and basic services. This includes upgrading slums.
    • Public transport – only around half of the urban population of the world has easy access to public transport; this needs improvement to ensure there is access to low cost, efficient public transport. This would help to reduce the approximately 1.35 million people who die each year as a result of road traffic crashes [1]. The climate crisis has shown the need to make significant changes to the way we live, work and travel if we are to move towards an environmentally sustainable pathway. A modal shift is needed to much more active travel, cycling and walking and much greater use of public transport. Where private or fleet vehicle use is necessary, zero-emission vehicles (such as EVs) should be used.
    • Open public spaces – access to open public spaces is often limited in towns and cities. These spaces promote health and productivity, and can also increase biodiversity in urban areas.
    • Consumption – in many places, particularly in industrialised countries, consumption of things, such as energy and materials, is high. This needs to be addressed to help lower carbon footprints.
    • Pollution – in 2016, 9 out of 10 people in urban areas across the world were breathing air that did not meet the WHO’s guidelines for particulate matter [2]. Cities are often polluted, increasing the chances of health problems.
    • Society and Community – working together as a society to deal with the issues we face, and will help reignite a sense of community
  • Cities and human settlements need to implement integrated policies and plans towards inclusion, resource efficiency, mitigation and adaptation to climate change, resilience to disasters, and to implement holistic disaster risk management at all levels.

[1] World Health Organisation ‘Road Traffic Injuries’ Accessed February 9th 2021

National Center for Biotechnology Information ‘Militarism and World Health’ Militarism and world health - PubMed ( Accessed February 9th 2021.

[2] Data taken from United Nations ‘Transforming Our World - The 2030 Agenda For Sustainable Development’
Transforming our World: The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development | Department of Economic and Social Affairs (
21252030 Agenda for Sustainable Development web.pdf (

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SGR, Globally Responsible Careers 2021