Sustainability challenge and related SDGs
Urban centres are growing strongly and attracting ever more people in an uncontrolled manner. The UN expects that by 2050 two-thirds of the world’s population will live in cities, up from 50% today. With the world’s population projected to hit 10 billion during the same period, this would imply roughly a doubling of the size of cities. If urban planning does not reign in this development, city centres risk becoming overrun by the poorest parts of society, while traffic is likely to be unmanageable.
To confront this risk, cities’ vital networks need to be organised in an efficient and scalable way. These networks, which can be summarised in the investment trend for #SmartCities, range from supply lines for affordable energy to urban public traffic lines as well as guidance for private traffic and even energy-efficient data centres. The provision of these networks helps to achieve SDG 7 “Affordable and clean energy” and at the same time contributes to SDG 13 “Climate action”
- 7.Affordable and Clean Energy
- 13.Climate Action
Possible solutions and their contribution to achieving the SDGs
Urban planning is paramount to guaranteeing that cities’ infrastructures grow with the their size. Companies can contribute with solutions to achieving the targets of SDG 7 and 13. In particular, the provision of renewable energy caters to target 7.2. The associated build-up of smart grids, power management and smart metering are promoting target 7.3 by increasing energy efficiency.The installation of efficient and naturally cooled data centres for the cities’ technological infrastructures also contributes to the target to reduce dependence on energy. Even more importantly, providing traffic control systems and building up public transport helps to cut energy consumption significantly. At the same time all these solutions contribute to strengthening the resilience to climate change (13.1).
Primarily related SDG Targets: 7.2, 7.3, 13.1
Investment Rationale and Growth Potential
The need to transform increasingly unmanageable and unlivable megacities, especially in Emerging Markets, into inclusive and sustainable centres of sprawling life and information exchange is clear.
The rapid urbanization is nearly unstoppable, and companies can use it to their benefit for providing urban, digital and energy infrastructures, sustainable transportation and contributing to the related SDGs.