It’s 2050 and urban life has never been better. Despite more people living in urban areas than ever before, the world’s towns and cities are now healthy, affordable and inclusive places to live. Many of the policies and investments driving these improvements also explain the radical decarbonisation of today’s human settlements. Indeed, the design of today’s cities makes living a 1.5oC-aligned life almost second nature for residents.

Much of the heavy lifting here has been done by urban planners, architects, construction companies, property owners, utility firms and sustainable material innovators, among others, supported by bold local and national policy and investment. Their combined efforts mean that old buildings are now much more energy-efficient to run, for instance, while new buildings now create only a fraction of the carbon footprint they once had.

Urban infrastructure has undergone a similar overhaul. As well as requiring less energy to build and maintain, contemporary infrastructure actively encourages people to adopt sustainable habits, such as walking to work, shopping locally and recycling household waste. Residents are hugely animated by these changes because they can see the everyday wellbeing benefits they bring.

Visionary public policies, coupled with cutting-edge innovations by business, have certainly played an essential role in creating the net zero human settlements of today. No less critical, however, has been the resolute commitment by planners to include citizens at every step of the way. As a result, the needs of all segments of society are now given their proper weight. Furthermore, residents feel an enormous pride for the sustainable settlements they have helped co-create.

The 2030 Breakthrough

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إليكم سبب وجوب دمج الطبيعة في البنية التحتية الحضرية

من ضمن الالتزامات العديدة الرائدة التي تم الاستماع إليها في قمة المناخ COP26 إلى نتائج الجزء الأول من اتفاقية التنوع البيولوجي COP15 في أكتوبر الماضي ، هناك اعتراف متزايد بأن معظم التحديات العالمية التي تؤثر علينا، مثل المناخ المتشابك وحالات الطوارئ الطبيعية، يمكن معالجتها من خلال روابطها الحضرية.


Join the Race

The global campaign to rally leadership and support from businesses, cities, regions, investors for a healthy, resilient, zero carbon recovery.

How to Take Action
  • By 2025, all countries include specific measures in NDCs and have roadmaps for decarbonising and ensuring resilience in the built environment, including plans to make all buildings net zero by 2050.
  • Implement policies that promote the responsible production and consumption of low carbon products but prioritise reuse and recovery, making cities ‘zero waste’ by 2050.
  • By 2025, implement planning policy that favours reuse, retrofit and green infrastructure, and requires emissions minimisation and resilience in built environment projects.
  • By 2021, companies across the built environment value chain commit to becoming net zero and collaborating across the system to achieve a net zero built environment by 2050.
  • Ensure emissions reduction, circular design and built-in resilience are prioritised in all financial and procurement decisions by 2025.
  • Support efforts to eliminate the use of fossil fuels in buildings as part of the overall goal of making human settlements net zero by 2050.
  • Drive the shift to a net zero built environment by stimulating investment in sustainable construction and retrofitting, starting with a capital expenditure target of US$270 billion per year by 2030.
  • Request companies in the built environment sector to assess and disclose their climate-related risks and opportunities, and regularly report their progress towards net zero.
  • Advocate for government policy and regulation that makes the transition to net zero in human settlements investible.
  • Develop scalable technologies, designs, processes and business models that enable the integration of circular approaches (reuse and recycling) in all aspects of human settlements, including construction and retrofitting projects.
  • Develop and demonstrate zero carbon heating and cooling solutions for buildings and low carbon construction materials technologies that are scalable.
  • Provide digital solutions that enable the reporting of as-built embodied carbon from construction projects and real-time tracking and automated optimisation of operational buildings performance in human settlements.
  • Make efforts to change behaviours in line with a 1.5⁰C lifestyle, lowering the average citizen annual carbon footprint to 2.5tCO2e by 2030.
  • Actively demand low carbon, equitable and circular products and services within human settlements, including zero carbon buildings and recycling and reuse facilities, to enable the transition to a zero-waste society.
  • Take steps to significantly reduce household energy and water consumption and, where possible, carry out retrofits to deliver zero carbon, energy efficient homes.