The 10 steps a city has to take to adapt to the future

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67% of the world population will live in a city in 2050, according to the UN, and up to 14.4% will do so in megacities, those with more than 10 million inhabitants. Governments, both national and regional, should already be working to start adapting the current cities to the capacity they will have in just 30 years. From efficiency to sustainable urban development, here are 10 tips for politicians, companies and citizens .

The La Casa Foundation that now has developed a decalogue of recommendations to reach ‘ City 10 ‘ to adapt to the great challenges of the cities of the future, which go through to adapt to the arrival of more and more population in health issues, security , efficiency or comfort. The United Nations (UN), has already warned that 2 out of 3 people will reside in larger cities in 2050. And another 14.4% will do so in megacities with more than 10 million inhabitants

A city low in carbon

The fight against climate change requires the joint effort of both public and private entities and citizens to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases that cause atmospheric and climatic disorders.

In the cities, special attention must be paid to certain sectors such as building and mobility, in which it is key to reduce their energy consumption and associated emissions, betting on reducing their energy needs, making the real estate and vehicle parks more efficient. In the construction, the buildings of almost null energy will contribute to reach cities and economies low in carbon.

A healthy city

The environment that surrounds us is a determining factor for our health. Living in the presence of noise, exposed to air pollution or in conditions of inadequate temperature and humidity in our workplaces and homes can aggravate or be the source of health problems.

A city that is not vulnerable to suffering energy poverty

Energy is a fundamental resource for families, necessary for such elementary uses as cooking, hygiene, lighting, communications or, especially, the air conditioning of homes. Cities must move towards buildings that make energy accessible and affordable for all citizens, that is, buildings that protect our health regardless of income level.

A safe and resilient city

Extreme climatic phenomena, floods or fires are catastrophes capable of causing serious human and material damage. Living in cities that are built under demanding requirements such as protection against fire, being compatible with energy efficiency and protection against acoustic pressure, will increase the safety and resilience of all citizens in the face of the serious and unavoidable consequences of climate change .

An accessible city

A modern city must offer mechanisms so that all its citizens can enjoy their services fully. We can not forget an effect such as the aging of the population, and in particular the Third Age, which is why we must make progress in adapting the buildings and the urban environment in such a way as to guarantee sensory, motor and cognitive accessibility.

The processes of rehabilitation of buildings and urban regeneration should act in improving accessibility, but without forgetting the quality of life inside the living spaces.

A city with a model of sustainable mobility

A mobility based on prioritizing and adapting the city to private car use has disastrous consequences in terms of air pollution, noise, occupation of public space and / or coexistence with other means of transport. The commitment to public transport, pedestrian spaces or cycling, as well as the introduction of car sharing alternatives such as ‘carsharing’ or betting on ‘clean’ vehicles, are the opportunity to reach cities that are no longer designed by and for the private car and become cities for people.

Urbanism and the new building have much to say about it, where elements such as the electric vehicle will need a building prepared for the generation of energy and recharge them. But let’s not forget to adapt the existing …

A city integrated into its environment

Modern cities must grow and evolve in harmony with their geographical environment, incorporating into their urban planning the natural elements that are part of it such as rivers, beaches, and other geographical features. The integration of natural elements in the infrastructures that make up the city and the application, among others, of bioclimatic architecture criteria in our buildings, will improve the quality of life and improve urban biodiversity.

A city efficient in the use of resources

Taking advantage of ‘non-finite’ natural resources and betting on a circular economy is also a question for cities. The building has developed a great potential in this aspect, taking advantage of resources such as renewable energy or rainwater, betting increasingly to eradicate the use of materials of finite origin and / or incorporating recycling, in addition to contributing to better management of waste.

A city connected to its citizens

Each time citizens demand channels that allow them to be an active part of planning the urban environment. The new information and communication technologies allow the use of channels that, on the one hand, inform in real time about the quality of the urban environment and its services and, on the other, offer ways of opinion and participation for citizens.

An adequate urbanism

More and more a more stable population is replaced by a floating one, or tourist, and that turns the nerve center into a purely commercial area, not of everyday life. Some call it ‘gentrification 2.0’ or ‘turistification’, and it is already a reality in many cities. Some provide data of up to 70% in some of them. In the absence of legal and fiscal regulation, many homes are becoming hotels or residences, with the urban consequences that this entails, both as regards the poor building quality for a temporary non-demanding occupant, and for services or facilities that are required.

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