Sustainable Cities and Communities

Cities make up only 3% of our Earth’s land, yet account for 75% of all global carbon emissions. These densely populated areas are hotspots for environmental damage due to increased housing, expansion into natural habitats, high levels of electricity usage and vast amounts of traffic pollution.


The air quality in our cities is depleting and the management of waste throughout our communities is far from resolved.  Residents often falsely believe that the principle of ‘reduce, reuse, recycle’ is enough; however in the case of our cities and communities it is living more sustainably that will limit damage to our planet, whilst still allowing for growth without strain on our resources.  We must change how the urbanisation of our communities is funded, planned and designed, and cities must begin to rely on a healthier system of resources that are sustainable instead of finite.


What can YOU do to help?

Use public transport if you are able and walk or ride a bike if travelling locally

This will help to limit the amount of emissions via vehicle use. Cycling UK provide a great guide to bike share schemes throughout UK cities.

Take an interest in the governance of your city or community

What environmental impact are new developments having on your community? Read planning notices and engage in public responses and meetings. You can usually find planning consultation schedules on your local Council or Government website.

Take only enough of what you need

Food, water, electricity — reduce your energy consumption. You can find more tips on our Planetary resources pages for Responsible Consumption and Affordable Clean Energy!

Visit your local waste recycling plant

Learn how waste management works in your city or community. Some facilities, such as the West Sussex Materials Recycling Facility, offer educational tours to local community groups and schools.

Become more active in your community in joining together to make improvements to shared spaces

Speak with your neighbours, join a local community group, such as those run by Greenpeace, and encourage others in your community to protect the environment and adopt sustainable alternatives.

Educate yourself further on circular economy

This focuses on the use of renewable resources. The Ellen Macarthur Foundation offers comprehensive materials on how we can build a future that is restorative, regenerative and healthier for our environment and planet, including how this can be applied within our cities and communities.

Young People in Action!

Daze Aghaji

As a child growing up in the city of London, Daze suffered from asthma. When she went away to boarding school in rural Lincolnshire at the age of 11 her asthma disappeared…but later returned when she finished school and moved back to London. Daze is part of the Extinction Rebellion movement, and wants to ‘rebrand’ air pollution to highlight how disastrous it is as a global issue. Now a university student, Daze impressively entered the 2019 European Parliamentary Elections as a Climate and Ecological Emergency Independent at the age of just 19.

Image © @dazeaghaji (Instagram)

Useful Links

United Nations Link
The World's Largest Lesson Link
National Geographic Link
Global Footprint Network org
Ellen Macarthur Foundation Link
Cycling UK Link
EU Environment htm
Greenpeace Link
Extinction Rebellion earth