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green streets
thoughts, ideas + dialogues on urban revitalization, smart growth + neighborhood development
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Achieving sustainable, inclusive cities requires better planning - UN News Centre

Achieving sustainable, inclusive cities requires better planning - UN News Centre | green streets | Scoop.it

Top United Nations officials have underscored the need to better plan the world’s urban areas, where half of the global population currently resides, to turn the ideal of sustainable and inclusive cities into reality.

“In little more than a generation, two thirds of the global population will be urban. As the proportion of humanity living in the urban environment grows, so too does the need to strengthen the urban focus of our efforts to reduce global poverty and promote sustainable development,” said Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.

In his message for World Habitat Day, Mr. Ban noted that better planned and better functioning cities can help ensure that everyone who lives there has adequate shelter, water, sanitation, health and other basic services. He also noted they promote education and job prospects, energy-efficient buildings and public transport systems, and a feeling of inclusiveness for inhabitants.

According to the UN Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat), the main challenges confronting cities and towns all over the world today include unemployment, especially among youth; social and economic inequalities; and unsustainable energy consumption patterns.

Urban areas are also responsible for most of the world’s waste and pollution.


“We should create a new type of city – the city of the 21st century – a smart, people-centred city, one that is capable of integrating the tangible and more intangible aspects of prosperity; a city able to rid itself of the inefficient, unsustainable urban habits of the previous century,” said Joan Clos, UN-Habitat’s Executive Director.

“It is time for changing our cities and for building new opportunities,” he stated...


Read further to learn more about the social, economic and cultural components of sustainable cities and urban growth, and the latest in the global dialogue on green development and conscientious planning and how they contribute to a healthier economy, engaged communities, and increased social equity.

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Breaking Blocks: public housing minus the superblock

Breaking Blocks: public housing minus the superblock | green streets | Scoop.it

Rosanne Haggerty, president of Community Solutions, proposes a surgical approach to Brooklyn's public housing that preserves original buildings and emphasizes breaking up the superblock with through-traffic streets, integrated urban agriculture, ground floor retail, and the incorporation of social services—all without displacing a single resident.

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Want calmer cities? Build socially sustainable communities...

Want calmer cities? Build socially sustainable communities... | green streets | Scoop.it

Environmental sustainability is now well recognized, though social sustainability – finding ways to make places work for people, that are inclusive and cohesive, and adaptable in the face of changing circumstances – is a new challenge.

There is strong evidence about the relationship between the quality of our local social relationships – the people we pass time with on the street, whether we can call on neighbors for help when we are ill – and how happy we are with where we live. The work that is needed to support this is the small scale, efforts of community development workers and local neighbourhood groups. However, this work is vulnerable to cuts in public spending, though corner cutting can have a stark long-term negative impact; the financial and social costs of neighbourhood failure are high and include raised levels of crime, unemployment and mental health problems...

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Designing Social Change

Designing Social Change | green streets | Scoop.it
The Designing Social Change series examines the rapidly-growing movement to apply design approaches to social problems.

There are currently one billion people living in informal settlements around the world. By the year 2030, that number is predicted to double. A movement under the umbrella of “socially-responsible design” has set out to prove that people living in settlements have as much right to live in well-designed cities as do the rest of us.

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