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.

Within a time span of only a few months, the SARS-CoV-2 virus has managed to spread across the world. This virus can spread by close contact, which includes large droplet spray and inhalation of microscopic droplets, and by indirect contact via contaminated objects. While in most countries, supermarkets have remained open, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, authorities have ordered many other shops, restaurants, bars, music theaters and indoor sports centers to be closed.
Elsevier,

Current Opinion in Insect Science, Volume 40, August 2020

Materials, structures, surfaces and buildings of insects are of a great scientific interest, but such basic knowledge about the functional principles of these structures is also highly relevant for technical applications, especially in architecture. Some of the greatest challenges for today's architecture are multifunctionality, energy saving and sustainability — problems that insects have partially solved during their evolution. Entomologists have collected a huge amount of information about the structure and function of such living constructions and surfaces.

Each year the RELX Environmental Challenge is awarded to projects that best demonstrate how they can provide sustainable access to safe water or sanitation. In the past decade, the company has awarded $750,000 to projects and solutions that improve the world’s water quality and sanitation. This article, using innovative parallax storytelling technology, looks at the tangible impact of the RELX Environmental Challenge.

To mark the tenth anniversary of the RELX Environmental Challenge and the announcement of this year’s winners, we invite you to join us for SDG 6: From here to there - celebrating 10 years of innovation and exploring the next decade of WASH action, to take a look back over the past 10 years and to consider the decade of action ahead - what will it really take to achieve SDG6: clean water and sanitation for all?

The SDG Impact of COVID-19 podcast series gathers expert opinion exploring the impact of COVID-19 on the Sustainable Development Goals. In this segment, we get the view of Joan Walley, Chair of the Aldersgate Group and former Labour MP.
Cities with many pedestrian barriers can inhibit community mobility, access to services, and social participation for people with disabilities. Although National Disability Rights policies have been enacted in several nations, it is unclear what progress local governments have made in developing plans and implementing accessibility improvements to the pedestrian infrastructure. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the existence and quality of city plans used to remove barriers for pedestrians with disabilities.
Elsevier,

Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Systems, Encyclopedia of the World's Biomes, 2020

This book chapter addresses SDGs 15, 12, and 11 by discussing the conservation of terrestrial, freshwater, and coastal/marine ecosystems, and how to identify global percent protection goals.
Elsevier,

Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Systems, Encyclopedia of the World`s Biomes, 2020

This book chapter addresses goals 15, 13 and 11 by discussing how deserts are biodiverse places where life thrives in the extreme.
This book chapter advances SDGs 15 and 11 by looking at how island biogeography arose in the past and how it is now changing in the Anthropocene. Biogeography is determined by three processes: immigration, evolution, and extinction and in the Anthropocene, human impacts are increasingly more important to island biogeography.
Elsevier, Current Opinion in Green and Sustainable Chemistry, Volume 23, June 2020
To be socially accepted widely, the emerging circular bioeconomy needs to rely increasingly on residual bio-based feedstock and waste, hence reducing its dependency on crops which are in competition with agriculture/food markets. Food waste represents a valuable option as it allows for the production of a wide range of bio-based products ranging from biofuels to bioplastics. First successful experiences have shown that the involvement of stakeholders with different behaviours, values and backgrounds is a key enabler of the process.

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