lunes, 5 de octubre de 2015

ONU: Nuestras ciudades son la clave para un futuro sostenible.

Objetivos de la ONU: Nuestras ciudades son la clave para un futuro sostenible.

Los objetivos de la ONU están enfocados en la vivienda accesible, el transporte sustentable, la protección del patrimonio cultural y natural, y la reducción del impacto ambiental de las ciudades.

Artículo publicado en Urban Gateway >

Melbourne, Bangalore, Jakarta and Rio de Janeiro have something in common: they are growing fast and need to manage the social and environmental impacts of fast-growing and sprawling populations. In some ways, Melbourne has more in common with the fast growing cities of the developing world than the old cities of Europe.
Melbourne is regularly voted one of the most liveable cities in the world but it is far from being the most sustainable, with our high carbon emissions, dependency on cars and a growing divide between residents of inner and outer suburbs in job opportunities, incomes, and services..
This week the United Nations adopted 17 Sustainable Development Goals that will guide global development until 2030. These goals will apply to all countries, including Australia. They are not legally binding, but all countries are expected to commit to implementing them and using the goals and targets in national planning.
The goals seek to end extreme poverty and promote economic prosperity and wellbeing while protecting the planet. They aim to achieve gender equality and promote peaceful and more inclusive societies. In short, they are a "to do list" for a better world.
Significantly, thanks to the efforts of the cities of Melbourne, Bangalore, Jakarta, Rio de Janeiro and more than 200 other cities and urban organisations, goal 11 is "to make cities safe, resilient and sustainable". Within it are targets for affordable housing and sustainable transport, protecting cultural and natural heritage, increasing resilience to disasters, reducing the environmental impact of cities, and providing access to green public spaces.
Setting and meeting these targets will help Melbourne to become one of the world's most sustainable cities, not just the most liveable.
This is the age of urbanisation, particularly in our part of the world. Today more than 50 per cent of the world's population lives in cities; by 2050 this will rise to 70 per cent. An incredible statistic is that 60 per cent of the area expected to be urban by 2030 hasn't yet been built, most of it in Asia and Africa.
One of the early leaders of the campaign for an urban goal was the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network, a group of universities launched by the UN Secretary General to mobilise expert support for sustainable development. 
City mayors including Melbourne's lord mayor Robert Doyle and the mayor of Rio de Janeiro Eduardo Paes added their voices to the campaign.
The urban goal will be particularly useful now that Australia has a minister for cities and the built environment, but the goals can also be used by state and local governments as a framework for planning.
In Australia and in the fast-developing countries in our region, cities are going to be the main drivers of economic growth and jobs, but also the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. Balancing the economic, social and environmental needs of cities will be a huge challenge. 
Indeed, some have said the battle for sustainable development will be won or lost in cities.
There are also great opportunities for Australian businesses, experts and universities to work in partnership with other countries and cities in our region that are seeking to be more sustainable and meet the goals and targets.
Companies such as Stockland, Mirvac and Lend Lease have been recognised as global leaders in green buildings in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index.
Our water experts, architects and planners can help Asian cities meet the twin challenges of growth and sustainability and potentially avoid some of the mistakes we have made.
The Sustainable Development Goals offer Australia the opportunity to promote more sustainable development and improve the quality of life and opportunity here at home while promoting prosperity in the many developing countries in our region – something that will be vital for our economic future and security.
Cynics might scoff at the United Nations' efforts and argue that the goals are meaningless and likely to be ineffective. But these critics ignore the real mobilising impact that concrete goals and targets have on governments, businesses and communities.
As the declaration accompanying the Sustainable Development Goals states: "Never before have world leaders pledged common action and endeavour across such a broad and universal policy agenda." 
One of the leaders of the campaign for an urban sustainability goal, Aromar Revi of the Indian Institute for Human Settlements, has said the goals declaration by the UN is "as important a document to the early 21st century as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights was to the mid-20th".
The goals build on the Millennium Development Goals, which were effective in focusing world attention and national planning on the need to reduce extreme poverty and improve education and health in developing countries.
The Sustainable Development Goals have a broader agenda and apply to all countries. Let us hope that they are similarly effective in helping to deliver a fairer and better world and more sustainable cities.
NB: Press Cutting Service
This article is culled from daily press coverage from around the world. It is posted on the Urban Gateway by way of keeping all users informed about matters of interest. The opinion expressed in this article is that of the author and in no way reflects the opinion of UN-Habitat