How To Build a Sustainable City

Each day new houses, offices and other properties spring up in the city. How do we ensure the cities we are building are sustainable? What are the characteristics we should be looking out for?

“In 2030, half of the population of Africa will live in cities. This presents a major challenge for local authorities and governments.” says Uyi Akpata, CEO of PWC Nigeria. But are our cities really ready to accommodate so many?

A city is a human settlement that is larger than a town, both in size and population, and has a distinct identity with certain qualities.

A city must first have a population with developments that greatly foster interactions between them and also with their environment. A city must also have a political, legal or administrative authority that is set up to ensure the management, planning and development of the city (what we call AMA in Accra).

  1.   A city in which people live

Every basic human need should be fulfilled and infrastructure that are essential for a good quality life should be available. Decent homes should be affordable for all citizens. Various types of food must be available, from fast food to organic. Humans are social beings, therefore communication is important, and especially with the increasing number of social media users. Citizens should be able to communicate with friends and family at any time without any hassle via phones, the internet and the post. They should not have difficulties jumping on a bus, train or airplane to go visit friends and family. Cities should also be eco-friendly and have systems that check and ensure clean air, water and surroundings. Citizens should be able to trust their health care systems are efficient. They should also be sure they and their properties are safe thanks to a good police system that ensures low crime rate. Last, a good city must accept and support the diversity of religions and foster spirituality.

  1.   A city should sustain work

A city should be able to sustain everything that has got to do with work, employment, business growth, manufacturing, and banking. A city should be able to adequately educate and train via an efficient system of schools, universities and institutes. There should be employment opportunities both in the public and private sector. There should be enticing opportunities for entrepreneurial citizens.

  1.   A city should foster  art and entertainment

A city should offer different kinds of music, movies, theatres, as well as outdoor activities such as zoos, parks, sport areas, restaurants, bars and clubs. Entertainment is an important part of its inhabitants’ lives and should be taken into account when planning a sustainable city.

Richard AnaneAbout the author: Richmond Anane is a business developer with Timonane Construction.

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