Out of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, it is Goal 11 (Sustainable Cities) that speaks the loudest to me.
Because Cities are where most people live, and where even more people will live in the future. Making a small step towards sustainability in Cities can mean making a big difference.
Because Cities provide opportunities for people to exchange ideas and learn from each other, forging new friendships and new ventures for better futures, and I would like these opportunities to be accessible to everyone.
Because if we plan and design Sustainable Cities - what I do in my job as an urban planner - people will be healthier and happier, and our planet will be stronger and more resilient.
What if our Cities did not compete with Nature, and instead integrated with it?
What if our Cities had clean air, clean water, clean streets, and ran on clean energy?
What if our Cities were built for humans, young and old, and not for cars or for cash?
We would then have Sustainable Cities.
Voice of Huda Shaka
Huda is passionate about influencing cities towards a more sustainable and equitable future. She is an urban planning consultant based in Dubai, and is a thought-leader and international speaker on the topic of sustainable development in Arab cities. Her work involves advising on city plans and infrastructure projects as well as strategic policy frameworks, from an environmental and social sustainability perspective. A Dubai kid, Huda witnessed and learnt from the phenomenal growth and transformation of this city. After completing her university degrees abroad, she returned to the UAE in 2007 keen to make a positive impact. Huda's multidisciplinary academic background and professional experience, combining environmental science, public health, sustainability and urban planning, and her first-hand experience of living and working in the Arab world help her to bring a unique perspective to her work. You can read more about her work on her blog: www.thegreenurbanista.com