CH2M claims its comprehensive framework helps local leaders create and implement sustainable development strategies, achieving triple bottom-line benefits
Professional services firm CH2M has used the United Nations’ World Cities Day to highlight five “keys” to unlocking the potential of great cities.
With more than half of the global population now living in cities and human settlements, greater attention needs to be placed on the role of urbanisation as a source of global development and social inclusion, according to the United Nations on World Cities Day.
“To transform our world, we must transform its cities” said Ban Ki-moon, secretary-general of the United Nations, in a statement commemorating the day which is observed on 31 October.
CH2M’s Five Keys to Great Cities provide a comprehensive framework for local leaders to create and implement sustainable development strategies achieving triple bottom-line benefits for social, environmental and economic progress and prosperity. In brief, the five keys are:
Capacity: The scope and scalability of essential infrastructure systems -- water, sanitation, energy, transportation, housing and communication -- to serve its population, accommodate growth, and promote wellness and quality of life for all.
Livability: The optimal mix of character, history, culture, public spaces, aesthetics and social services that make a city unique, safe, secure and welcoming to residents and visitors alike.
Connectivity: Integration of digital and physical communication networks, data, smart technologies and processes to efficiently connect all community members and services in ways that enhance agility, collaboration, productivity, public health and safety.
Viability: The ability to attract diverse talent, interest and investment to stimulate sustained business and economic growth, including essential resources such as a skilled workforce, advanced industries, thriving commercial centres and innovation-incubating universities and technologies.
Resiliency: Planning and development of resilient infrastructure and systems that enable communities to prepare for and manage impacts from extreme weather, climate change events and other hazards.
Some of the great world cities examples identified by CH2M as being at the forefront of the urban movement include:
London: delivering visionary public transport programs like Crossrail which will bring an extra 1.5 million people to within 45 minutes of the city centre.
Seattle: reconnecting the city to its waterfront and providing a "front porch" to its downtown neighborhoods, with a focus on public use and development activities that attract people from all walks of life.
Aurangabad: the industrial smart city development project in India is integrating thoughtful growth principles with green spaces, walkable corridors and smart city communication and connectivity solutions to establish itself as a welcoming, intelligent industrial city of the future.
Recognising World Cities Day, Seattle’s Mayor Ed Murray views urban services as a foundation for overall social and economic development. "As Seattle continues to see rapid growth, we are working to ensure that growth is equitable by aligning our investments in affordable housing, transit and small business development to create urban centers that connect people to where they live, work and play,” he said.
“In doing this, we are addressing the challenges of affordability and livability, while also addressing racial and economic disparities. Seattle is becoming a model for 21st century cities with a diverse population, a diverse economy and a sustainable vision for growth."
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