Climate Neutral Cities: How to make cities less energy and carbon intensive and more resilient to climatic challenges
UNECE, 2011by: Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) Cities and towns play a crucial role in the social and economic development of countries. Strong urban economies are indispensable for generating the resources needed for public and private investments in infrastructure, education, health, improved living conditions and, particularly, poverty alleviation.
The depletion of natural resources and the impact of a changing climate have become serious challenges to the full realisation of the socio-economic contribution that cities can make. These challenges entail huge costs, resulting in enormous inefficiencies in the use of local resources, with the poorest and most disadvantaged people suffering the most. In this regard, disaster preparedness - through risk assessments, participatory spatial planning, infrastructure maintenance and building codes - will be critical to increasing urban resilience in the event of natural and climate related disasters. Charting a path between promoting socio-economic growth and tackling environmental challenges requires the joint efforts of policymakers, urban planners and dedicated authorities, as well as the private sector and NGOs.