There’s no stemming the tide, so city leaders need to build resilience in order to cope. Work on a new International Standard for urban resilience, led by the United Nations, has just kicked off, aiming to help local governments build safer and more sustainable urban environments.
The development of the standard is being led by UN-Habitat, the United Nations programme for human settlements
City living is where it’s at. The top 600 cities in the world house 20 % of the global population but produce 60 % of the world’s GDP, and the numbers are growing. It is estimated that, by 2050, 68 % of us will be living in cities), increasing the scale of impact when disasters strike. Which they will. In 2018, for example, more than 17 million were displaced by sudden-onset disasters such as floods).
Work has now started on a new ISO standard for urban resilience, aimed at supporting national and local governments build their capacity to face the new challenges arising from climate change and shifting demographics. It will define a framework for urban resilience, clarify the principles and concepts, and help users to identify, implement and monitor appropriate actions to make their cities more resilient.
“Building Sustainable and Resilient Cities” was the theme of this year’s United Nations World Cities Day, and ISO standards are proving to be essential tools to do exactly that.
How do you enhance a city’s attractiveness, and preserve its environmental, social and cultural assets, when faced with a growing population?
ISO 37101 is part of a suite of standards dedicated to future-proofing cities and making them sustainable and resilientSince becoming the first community in Europe to be certified to ISO International Standard ISO 37101, Sustainable development in communities – Management system for sustainable development – Requirements with guidance for use, Sappada in Italy now benefits from better managed local complexities, new initiatives for education and environmental protection, new ways of promoting their area and a system to measure and monitor sustainability performance – all the while increasing community engagement.
ISO 37101 is part of a suite of standards dedicated to future-proofing cities and making them sustainable and resilient, thus contributing to the goal of this year’s World Cities Day and United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 11 for sustainable cities and communities.
Companies are in the business of selling products and consumers of those products want the best possible value for money, but this puts a strain on already depleted natural resources and supply chain transparency.
How does ISO 20400 help change the way we produce and consume goods and resources, and pave the way to meeting sustainable consumption? The world is in bad need of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the United Nations (UN) blueprint for a more prosperous and resilient world. There can be few among us who are not aware of the sometimes immeasurable and potentially catastrophic damage to the environment caused by carbon dioxide emissions, pollution from coal-fired power stations, the plastic waste clogging our oceans and killing marine animals, deforestation, the melting Arctic ice, climate change, urbanization – the list goes on.
These problems are economic as well as environmental and pose a huge threat to our future well-being. According to the World Economic Forum’s Global Risks Report 2018, despite an improved economic background, with recent signs of “encouraging” global growth, there is no room for complacency. The report raises concerns in particular about the economic impact of the new technologies of the Fourth Industrial Revolution, and the lack of progress in protecting the environment.