Sustainable cities and human settlements

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 aims to "Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and sustainable." This goal acknowledges the growing importance of urban areas, as it's projected that by 2050, nearly 70% of the world's population will live in cities. Consequently, cities bear significant implications for sustainability, economic growth, and societal wellbeing.

Inclusivity is a key feature of sustainable cities. This refers to equitable access to opportunities, public services, and amenities, regardless of a person's background or circumstances. It implies the availability of affordable and adequate housing, thus addressing issues of homelessness and substandard living conditions.

Safety in cities means ensuring urban environments that protect their inhabitants from both physical harm and psychological distress. This involves addressing crime rates, traffic accidents, and potential hazards from poor infrastructure, while also considering the impacts of noise, pollution, and overcrowdedness on mental health.

Resilience is another important aspect, particularly in the face of climate change. Resilient cities can withstand and quickly recover from shocks such as natural disasters or economic crises. This involves aspects such as resilient infrastructure, disaster risk reduction strategies, and adaptive capacities at the community level.

Sustainability, finally, requires cities to function in a way that doesn't compromise future generations' ability to meet their own needs. This includes sustainable urban planning to reduce environmental impact, promote energy efficiency, and conserve resources. It also considers the importance of green spaces for biodiversity and the wellbeing of urban residents.

SDG 11 is interconnected with many other SDGs. For example, sustainable urban transport systems contribute to SDG 13 (Climate Action) by reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Meanwhile, ensuring access to green and public spaces supports SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-being).

Achieving sustainable cities and human settlements requires cooperation and participation from various stakeholders, including government authorities, urban planners, businesses, and citizens. Through their collective efforts, cities can be transformed into hubs of sustainability, resilience, and inclusivity, contributing significantly towards the realization of the SDGs.

This article supports SDGs 9 and 11 by exploring the technological aspects of the Internet of Things, emphasizing blueprints, complexity, challenges, and future directions to improve performance, network security, and stability.
This article supports SDG 11 by discussing Nature-Based Solutions (NBS) which may offer an unparalleled approach to combining sustainability and resilience while preserving ecosystems.
Elsevier,

Biodiversity and Bioeconomy: Status Quo, Challenges, and Opportunities, 2024, pp 81-110

This chapter advances the UN SDG goals 13, 14, and 15 by reviewing the role of biodiversity in sustainable development and the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
This Article supports SDGs 3 and 13 by providing assessments and knowledge gaps along Ghana’s coast on the aspects of SLR, subsidence and coastal vulnerability.

World Habitat Day 2024

Elsevier,

Managing Urban Rivers: From Planning to Practice, 2024, pp 109-130

This chapter advances the UN SDG goals 11 and 15 by reviewing how intentional and sustainable urban design can promote urban diversity and preserve regional biodiversity in the face of increasing urbanization and industrial development.
Millet is a staple crop in China. But how did it come about?
Elsevier,

Wetzel's Limnology, Fourth Edition: Lake and River Ecosystems, 2024, pp 859-892

This chapter advances the UN SDG goals 11, 13, and 14 by reviewing the role of lakes and ponds in maintaining critical aquatic biodiversity and ecosystem functioning in the context of growing urbanization and climate change.
This chapter advances the UN SDG goals 15, 11, and 17 by reviewing ways for community members to take part in insect conservation. Particularly with the rise of social media and the popularity of new reporting apps, citizen science is an often overlooked, yet effective tool in monitoring insect biodiversity and invasive species.
Climate change is driving the need for cool spaces, which currently relies largely on mechanical air conditioning that consumes power and contributes to emissions. This article examines how to create a passive cooling system with good ventilation using no mechanical equipment, achieving sub-ambient temperature cooling that could be extended to larger homes and structures. As such, it supports SDGs 3 (ensuring access to cool livable spaces), SDG 9 (more sustainable infrastructure to cool homes), and SDG 13 (reducing the need for traditional air conditioning).

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