This edition of the World Economic and Social Survey focuses on sustainable development issues, especially in three important cross-sectoral issues: sustainable cities, food security and energy transformation.
Greener Horizons: How sustainability can lead the smart cities revolution
Background Smart cities combine new and emerging technologies with a vision of more efficient and, proponents claim, more sustainable urban environments. Sustainability is often seen as a by-product of smart city technology—instead of being the driving force behind smart cities. Bullfrog Power, Canada’s leading green energy provider, brought together a panel of business leaders to discuss how to bring sustainability to the fore in the adoption of smart city technologies. The panel was moderated by...
10 top tips for sustainable cities
As global population grows, urban population is growing even faster — with 2.5 billion more city dwellers expected by 2050, according to the United Nations. And while urbanization can bring benefits in terms of economies of scale, social cohesion, technological innovation, transportation efficiency and more, cities can also be breeding grounds for poverty, pollution and malaise. To help inspire cities to make the most of the opportunities and minimize downsides of growth, the World Economic Forum recently...
Urban sustainability issues — Enabling resource-efficient cities
What is this report about? Resource efficiency is now a key objective of the Europe 2020 Strategy. The flagship `Roadmap to a Resource Efficient Europe` initiative (EC, 2011a) sets out a framework to support a shift towards a resource‑efficient and low-carbon economy in many policy areas. It also gives practical guidance on how to achieve such an economy (EC, 2011b). The Seventh Environment Action Programme, `Living well, within the limits of our planet`, also identifies a resource-efficient, green and...
Urban sustainability issues — What is a resource-efficient city?
What is this report about? Policy backgroundScarcity of natural resources poses a threat to the continued prosperity and well‑being of the world`s population. As the global economy and population grows and the standard of living rises, the demand for natural resources increases and this threatens the security of supply. Resources are defined as all inputs into the economy (EC, 2011a). `These resources include raw materials such as fuels, minerals and metals but also food, soil, water, air, biomass and...
Urban sustainability issues — Resource-efficient cities: good practice
Our current pattern of resource use is leading to the depletion and, consequently, scarcity of natural resources (1), the degradation of ecosystems and volatile and increasing prices of natural resources. On a planet with finite resources, the challenge is to find a way of delivering greater value and more services with fewer inputs (EC, 2011a). Resources are defined as raw materials, such as fuels, minerals and metals, but also food, soil, water, air, biomass and ecosystems (EC, 2011b). Resource efficiency is a...