Cities are home to half the world’s 7.5 billion people and contribute to about three-quarters of global economic output. Demographic experts estimate that an additional three billion people will live in cities by 2050, increasing the urban share of the world’s population to two-thirds.
Yet, cities and urban areas across the world face major social and ecological challenges: pollution, poverty, unemployment, poor housing, food scarcity and lack of basic services for over 1 billion slum dwellers, constraints on productivity due to lack of basic infrastructure, and a concentration risk due to natural disasters and climate change.
With the many challenges that exist to maintaining sustainable urban development, there are innovative ways through which mayors and municipal leaders can drive job creation and prosperity without straining land and resources.
Swisscontact promotes integrated environmental management to help cities meet these challenges. We encourage the idea of the Green City as a process of designing, building and of managing urban development by working with public actors, private sector (from large market players to small and medium enterprises), private foundations and public donor agencies, academic institutions (research, development, innovation and extension) and civil society. This includes helping local authorities to prioritise their actions to address the challenges of local development.
Swisscontact promotes new models of production and consumption for resource efficiency as well as action to curb air, water and soil pollution. By promoting sustainable and transparent resource management, people in developing and emerging economies not only have the opportunity to build and implement sustainable development practices, but also incorporate them into their business activities. Through job creation people are integrated into the local economy, enabling broad segments of society to build resource-friendly prosperity.