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.

Elsevier,

Indigenous People and Nature, Insights for Social, Ecological, and Technological Sustainability, 2022, Pages 171-197

Understanding livelihood vulnerability to hydrometeorological hazards is a crucial challenge for policymakers to create a clear foundation for vulnerable coastal residents. Using microlevel livelihood vulnerability research employing LVI and Socioeconomic Vulnerability Index, this chapter measures the magnitude of indigenous peoples' vulnerability to the detrimental consequences of hydrometeorological hazards on socioeconomic conditions.
Elsevier, Transportation Research Interdisciplinary Perspectives, Volume 13, March 2022
Telecommuting has become a dominant professional experience for many Canadian business and workers due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Telecommuting has several benefits that are separate from COVID-19. Two prevalent changes have been in regard to telecommuting and online food buying habits, both of which impact social wellbeing as a dimension of social sustainability. We discuss two exploratory surveys on the perception of telecommuting and food e-commerce.
The study offers insights into the relationship between eye-level greenspace and hypertension, revealing a negative association among Chinese females, especially in socioeconomically disadvantaged groups.
Elsevier, IFAC Journal of Systems and Control, Volume 19, March 2022
The optimal control of a water reservoir system represents a challenging problem, due to uncertain hydrologic inputs and the need to adapt to changing environment and varying control objectives. In this work, we propose a real-time learning-based control strategy based on a hierarchical predictive control architecture.
Elsevier,

Urban Governance, 2022, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ugj.2022.03.001.

 

The paper presents policy responses to the pandemic that illustrate how the crisis has opened opportunities for initiating changes that can lead to a more just food system.
Of all the types of renewable energy, Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) market has been more supported and developed in Canada due to the lower project cost and the existing NG pipeline infrastructure.
Urban climate change agenda furthered by aligning adaptation plans with development goals. Near-term benefits delivered by aligning adaptation, mitigation and development. Synergistic adaptation-mitigation planning leads to inclusion of co-benefits and avoidance of trade-offs. Informal networks can enhance coordination required for co-benefit approaches.
An Article in support of SDGs 3, 7, and 13, showing that adopting strict climate policies (the 1·5°C and 2°C targets) and strengthening clean-air policies could achieve major improvements in air quality and substantially reduce the human health effects from air pollution in China.
Elsevier,

Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, Volume 103, February 2022

Transportation is a basic social need, but most trips are done by private vehicles, which is not environmentally sustainable with growing urban populations. Micromobility (e.g., shared bikes) represents a significant opportunity to replace short private vehicles trips (0–3 miles) and reduce transportation sector emissions. This paper uses Seattle as a case study and estimates that up to 18% of short car trips could be replaced by micromobility.

This paper presents a water resilience assessment framework that includes a set of resilience indicators that will guide in building urban water resilience.

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