The city of the future is beyond technology | Commercial

Cities are more than a collection of streets, buildings and monuments, they are living entities defined by the people who occupy them and the complex web of relationships they weave. These centers account for a significant proportion of the global population, which continues to grow. Today, 54% of the population (about 4 billion people) lives in some urban area. By 2030, nearly 2 billion people will move to these centers, which on the one hand will emerge as engines of progress and factories of human talent, while at the same time they will become the main consumers of the world’s resources, sometimes predators. . Given their dimensions, it will be in large cement monsters, where climate change will have to be fought.

„There will be no sustainable planet without sustainable cities, because the global and the local are closely linked,” said Rahul Sanchez, Acting Minister for Transport, Mobility and the Urban Agenda. In a meeting organized by EL PAÍS and Acciona, the government representative said that despite the voices that „irrationally” now question environmental change and call scientific evidence „progressive ideology”, most Spanish cities already have a very fair and equitable development model. „They do it by adapting to the effects of warming and reducing their emissions, they do it by increasing waste recycling, and they do it by improving water consumption and energy efficiency, and they do it by increasing digitalization.”

But there are still challenges to be solved. According to the minister, the key to reducing emissions by 2030 is mobility and housing. And in an environment of high fuel prices, this service is essential for many families. „Our aim is to maintain the reduction in the price of transport permits for all citizens and then make this measure structural for certain groups,” he said. According to Sanchez, the country is successfully testing new models: on-demand or dynamic routes that allow route detours to take users outside of the itinerary. Also, he noted 13,000 million euros from European funds, dedicated to the new initiativeMore than half support a consistent motion shock program.

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Raquel Sanchez, Acting Minister of Transport. Shanti Burgos

But he warned that some city councils recently created by right-wing and far-right forces are cracking down on newly created low-pollution zones. „Those are unjustified decisions that are inconsistent with climate change legislation and we’re not going to ignore them,” he noted. On the housing side, he proposed two ambitious targets: first, public housing would account for 20% of the total stock; The second is to accelerate rehabilitation with energy efficiency benchmarks until reaching 410,000 actions. „We are on the right track… Not only do we want to achieve the 55% emissions reduction target by 2030, but we are also on track to achieve 48% of all energy we consume from renewables by that date. Last Monday, at an event in Madrid titled Resilient Urbes, „In all electricity generation in Spain They represent 81%,” he said.

„Climate change is a reality that affects us all, but we can see it not as a challenge but as an opportunity to act,” emphasized Juan Canton, General Director of Press at Prisa Media. The ideal city, says Huberto Moreno, CEO of Construction at Acciona, must conform to at least three elements. First, be inclusive. „They must be places of equal opportunity and access to basic services. Remove barriers that prevent the full participation of marginalized groups and ensure that no one is left behind in the development process. Second, be safe. „This is fundamental. But not only physical security but also food, housing and economic security. Third, be flexible. „In an ever-changing world, they can quickly recover from crises and disasters, whether natural or man-made.”

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Julia López Ventura, Regional Director of Europe C40, pointed out that there is a clear reality that has been neglected in the cities of the old continent. „If we are serious about the Paris Agreements and the European Green Deal, we must address the elephant in the room: fossil fuels.” But because city councils have no authority over energy, getting the issue on the table is complicated. „Tomorrow’s cities are being built now and solutions must be implemented now… We know that the climate battle will be won or lost in cities,” he promised. Ana Beatriz Jordao, head of the UN-Habitat Office in Spain, said today’s cities play three different roles. They are responsible for pollution because they emit many greenhouse gases. They are the victims, because that is where the most vulnerable people are who will suffer the consequences of a carbon-based economy. They are saviors because they focus on innovative solutions that provide answers to environmental challenges. Globally, Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 11 – related to inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable cities – has not been achieved. „We are globally pessimistic about progress on this SDG.” In Spain, however, they are optimistic because national and local measures are being launched to achieve the goals. Even so, there is still a lot of progress to be made, for example in the issue of waste and its recycling.

Life expectancy

„In the future, the simplest and most visible parameter, the clearest indicator of the progress of cities, will be longevity,” stressed José María Esquiaca, president of the Spanish Association of Technicians, urban planning architect doctor. Urban Planners (AETU). „Cities are resilient systems that know how to adapt to problems that have arisen throughout history,” said Manuel Perez Romero, president of the Center for Sustainable Cities. Metropolises have historically been able to adapt, but today they are under pressure. „Perhaps the biggest difference is now [el cambio] „It’s not too fast or too urgent, the global challenges look towards a specific date: 2050,” explained Bruno Sawyer, General Director of the Green Building Council Spain (GBCe).

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„There is no single solution for cities,” said Félix González Yagu, director of strategy and sustainability for Acciona’s construction sector. „The ideal city is not one with telepresence or electric vehicles.” The ideal city should hit five basic vectors: water, essential to human activity, energy, housing and infrastructure, mobility, and the waste we generate for each of these activities, he said. Part of the cycle of regeneration Regeneration Urbs Meeting: Positive Impact, EL PAÍS and Acciona seek to put on the table the most important issues of the Spanish economy and society.

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