What are the solutions to creating more equitable, sustainable and liveable cities?
Want to cut to the chase and find out what you can do? Check out our actions below for links to genuinely meaning, impactful and above all, empowering climate action.
In order to fix something, we need to understand how it operates. Educating yourself on the drivers of urban inequality is an important step towards a better, more inclusive city. This infographic by Urban Arenas for Sustainable and Just Cities provides a useful starting point.
Urban planning focused on creating participation from the whole community ensures that projects are not just designed for a community but by the community. It allows urban residents to contribute their own knowledge and experiences into urban designs, meaning that the development will best serve them. Urban development designed by the people experiencing it gives residents more control over their lives and the place that they live. Furthermore, through inclusive participation and ensuring marginalised groups and people are recognised, it can help achieve urban justice. This means that at every meeting, at every point of decision making, you need to consider: who is not here, who is benefiting from those groups not being here, and who is being excluded.
Creating sustainable cities involves altering core dimensions of urban life such as housing, transport, and land use. Changes made to these are always contested, they may benefit some whilst coming at a cost for others, so even sustainable changes to them can never be socially or politically neutral. In fact, cities have demonstrated that changes in the name of sustainability can be used to serve wealthy residents and the accumulation of capital, in processes that create gentrification, rather than leading to environmental justice. Yet, a core aim of the environmental movement should also be to address issues of social inequality. The root causes of these issues are interconnected, thus a holistic approach is needed for addressing them. Many established urban movements and grassroots community work are already fighting social inequality and urban injustice. It is important to collaborate with them to create support for sustainable initiatives and ensure they centre existing urban residents to ultimately help achieve social justice. Join grassroots urban movements and help them campaign and organise.
Learn About Sustainable Cities
Understand That Justice Must be Central
Support the Global Sustainable City Movement
Support Inclusive Urban Planning
Establish Community Networks
Join a Community Project for Regeneration
Fight Urban Injustice
Study Sustainable Urban Planning