Each year, World Habitat Day focuses attention on the state of human settlements. This year’s theme- Mind the Gap. Leave no one and no place behind– shines a spotlight on the problem of growing inequality and challenges in urban areas.
Cities around the world are expanding rapidly. Already today, over 50% of the world’s population resides in urban areas, and this proportion is expected to rise to 68% in 2050. Rapid urbanization could result in urban water demand rising by up to 80% by 2050, presenting huge challenges for cities in securing equitable provision of clean water and sanitation for their populations.
Meanwhile, the triple ‘C’ crises of the past years– COVID-19, climate and conflict, have only exacerbated already growing inequalities and vulnerabilities in cities worldwide.
Empowering cities to respond to the triple ‘C’ crisis and growing populations will require greater resiliency and inclusivity in urban planning, including in water management. Green infrastructure will be a key element to this puzzle. Nature-based solutions can help address climate vulnerabilities like extreme rainfall, droughts, and heatwaves, improve collection and treatment of urban wastewater, and conserve biodiversity within cities.
Learn more on how to design green infrastructure solutions in our guide: Green Infrastructure. Guide for Water Management – UNEP-DHI (unepdhi.org)
This World Habitat Day let’s live up to our responsibility to one another for more equitable and resilient urban futures.