Planning With A Purpose: Urban Transformation And Sustainability

By 2030, urban areas are projected to house 60% of the world’s population, account for three-quarters of total global energy demand, and comprise 81% of global consumption. Clearly, the future is urban.

So it’s to be expected that, as the world becomes more urban, the United Nations’ 2030 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) include a target devoted to “Sustainable Cities and Communities.” And with the remaining targets of critical import to cities, it’s also no surprise that a study of 167 cities worldwide found that 77% included SDGs in their planning.

It’s true that the global pandemic has stalled many urban transformation plans that support the SDGs. But with the crisis comes an opportunity to boost a sustainable economic recovery that leads to a better normal. That is, the chance to shape the recovery to address social, economic, and environmental challenges. To do this, cities will need to align their planning with some key urban transformation trends by 2030, as outlined in the Deloitte study, Urban Future with a Purpose: 12 trends shaping the future of cities. Supported by insights from experts—including mayors, urban planners, international organizations, and urban policy institutions—the study identifies where cities need to focus their efforts and resources to achieve truly sustainable cities.