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The 2022 World Cities Report: How you can improve the sustainability of your city

Updated: Jul 21, 2022

UN-Habitat recently released the 2022 edition of the World Cities Report, titled “Envisaging the Future of Cities”. The report is an analysis of current global trends, challenges, and opportunities for cities striving to engage in more sustainable development.

Chapter 5 of the report, “Securing a Greener Urban Future”, details the challenges cities face in improving their environmental impact. Reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions, for example, is not as simple as removing all carbon emissions instantly. It requires social change within our cities, from public policies that encourage sustainable consumption to individual behaviors like using public transportation systems. Cities’ efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions also have to be inclusive of their inhabitants’ needs and concerns.

To improve our global footprint, the way we travel specifically needs to be carefully reassessed. In fact, the transportation sector alone was responsible for 27% of global emissions in 2019. City officials must invest in safe and accessible public transportation infrastructure to encourage its use by the citizens they represent. Citizens can, in turn, contribute to urban sustainability by choosing public transportation, or even better, active transportation such as biking or walking, over private cars.

The report provides a few examples of cities that are investing in accessible and safe public transport:

  • Torreón, Mexico, has partnered with women’s groups, municipal workers, and UN Women to develop new mobility regulations that safeguard women and girls’ safety in public transport.

  • The city of Cairo, Egypt, includes gender assessments in transportation design, facilitating the creation of safer routes for women using public transport.

To read the full chapter, “Securing a Greener Urban Future”, click here.

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