As disasters wreak havoc across the globe, we are poised at a historic crossroads regarding the very future of our planet. Transformational change has become inevitable as the clock ticks down on one of the greatest challenges of our time.
The 2030 UN Agenda for Sustainable Development is a global action plan to transform our world and set it on a promising new trajectory. Unfortunately, as this report highlights, systemic roadblocks continue to impede progress and threaten our prospects for success in meeting the UN’s goals. Is there cause for alarm? KPMG professionals believe so. And we are not alone.
KPMG firms, in collaboration with the United Cities initiative, have undertaken a revealing Dynamic Risk Assessment (DRA) to understand the barriers impairing cities on the world’s time-sensitive journey to 2030. The United Cities program provides an international platform for information sharing and partnership building, bringing the world’s cities together in hopes of meeting the UN goals.
In addition to the findings shared in this joint report, KPMG professionals spoke to several United Cities experts, city leaders from around the world and other urban experts for their insights on what the future may hold – and how local leaders, businesses and communities everywhere should unite and seek to respond as one without delay.
The methodology for this DRA comprised engagement via interviews and workshops with
subject matter professionals from an array of industries as well as organizations in the public and private sectors. Their insightful perspectives and compelling findings go beyond North America and Europe to include global voices from Asia, Latin America and Africa on the severe risks that need to be mitigated if there is hope for a new future.
We invite you to explore the report and read through the insightful perspectives and compelling findings that take you beyond the first world narrative and encourage you to download the report to unpack all the research.
Around the globe, cities are collectively facing ESG challenges. This report underscores the need for cities to undergo a profound transformation, and also provides a roadmap to get there. Our urban centers can become examples of sustainability in action: with well-designed transportation systems, climate-friendly policies, affordable housing, social equity, and community engagement. I encourage you to read the report to discover best practices that will help us all reach our common goal of creating resilient, sustainable, and livable cities for present and future generations.
Sustainable urban planning initiatives in Luxembourg
Luxembourg has embarked on a progressive journey toward sustainable urban planning, aiming to strike a harmonious balance between urban environments and the natural world. This innovative approach places the well-being of citizens at its core, fostering a multidisciplinary strategy that involves professionals, government entities, and civil society in collaborative efforts. The emphasis is on going beyond merely mitigating negative impacts of urban development; it seeks to create positive outcomes that enhance both the environment and the quality of life for residents. Luxembourg's commitment to environmentally friendly urban development is exemplified by the publication in July 2021 of the Environmentally Friendly Urban Planning Guide. This guide serves as a blueprint for town and country planning based on 15 themes aligned with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. It encourages the creation of environmentally friendly neighborhoods that prioritize health, well-being, mobility, and responsible consumption while engaging the local community in the decision-making process.
Citizen-centric sustainable urbanism - Luxembourg
A distinguishing feature of Luxembourg's environmentally friendly urban planning approach is its focus on citizens. This people-centric strategy is two-pronged: citizens are both the beneficiaries of positive urban development impacts and active participants in the decision-making process. The objective is to create neighborhoods that offer a high quality of life and foster a sense of belonging among residents. Human-scale environments, diverse urban atmospheres, acoustic comfort, and abundant natural light are some of the factors integrated into the planning process to enhance the well-being of the community.
Elmen Village: a model of sustainability and community
One exemplary initiative is the Elmen Village, where sustainability, quality of life, and a strong sense of community converge. The village not only prioritizes affordability and environmentally friendly features in housing but also fosters a vibrant urban environment where 2,000 residents enjoy green spaces and a culture of communal living. The concept encourages inhabitants to reclaim the streets and promote eco-friendly modes of transportation like walking and cycling. Local services further enhance the sense of community, with second-hand boutiques and sharing points for tools and household equipment. Elmen Village embodies Luxembourg's commitment to sustainable urban planning that prioritizes the well-being of its citizens and promotes a harmonious coexistence with nature.
Dudelange's Neischmelz project: community participation and transformation
Another remarkable undertaking is the Neischmelz project in Dudelange, developed by the Fonds du Logement. This ambitious project aims to transform a former steelworks site into a carbon-neutral and environmentally friendly neighborhood. What sets this project apart is its strong focus on community involvement from the outset. Dudelange's residents were involved as much as possible, helping shape the neighborhood's design and function. Even before its completion, temporary facilities and transitional activities were established, including the DKollektiv artist collective's residence in the Fondoucq hall. This emphasis on citizen participation and co-creation highlights Luxembourg's commitment to ecological urbanism, where professionals collaborate with the community to create sustainable urban spaces that align with residents' needs and aspirations.
Luxembourg's strides in sustainable urban planning, exemplified by initiatives like Elmen Village and the Dudelange Neischmelz Project, mirror the urgent global call to transform cities into resilient, environmentally conscious spaces. While the document presented earlier underscores the pressing need for worldwide urban transformation, Luxembourg stands as a proactive frontrunner in this endeavor. Its dedication to environmentally friendly urban development, citizen-centric approach, and focus on well-being align closely with the broader global initiatives outlined. In Luxembourg's ongoing journey towards greener cities, it not only joins the global conversation on sustainable urbanism but also offers a tangible blueprint for other cities to follow, fostering a shared commitment to a more sustainable and harmonious future
This article was originally published on kpmg.com.