Sustainable Cities & Communities
What makes a great city? There are plenty of tourist guides that will try to tell you. Our view is that the greatest cities are not necessarily the biggest, oldest or tallest. It’s more about the quality of its culture, its economic competitiveness and the ambient environment.
It is no coincidence that this is paralleled by the notion of sustainable development. Something we are expert in. We use this to help prepare old and new cities for the next hundred or even thousand years.
In 2007, for the first time, more than 50% of the world’s population lived in cities. And they cover 2% of our land but consume 75% of the earth’s available resources! The way we live today is critical to climate change and our ecological sustainability. Cities need to be competitive but green. Striking yet natural. And productive yet efficient. These complexities all carry an environmental and sustainability story that links the built and natural environment, the infrastructure, our homes and our communities.
At WSP we help set visions, themes, objective and benchmarks for cities using leading indicators of energy demand and supply, ecological diversity and habitats, climate change adaptation, water use and reuse, waste and resource management and carbon emissions. The environment is also a clear priority with air and water quality, ecological restoration, toxicity and neighbourhood noise being at the centre of this agenda. We have a deep technical understanding of all these areas and we bring this together for an integrated approach.
What can you expect us to do:
- Propose progressive and sometimes seemingly radical institutional change
- Design and implement governance structures that enforce or incentivise change
- Design integrated infrastructures that are responsive, flexible and efficient to cool, heat, light, fuel and move our cities
- Run policy scenarios for city development that investigates carbon trajectories, resource mass balances and ecological value
Our indicator framework tool, citimetrix, allows us to measure impacts and track progress against other cities.
Planning a healthy community
Read our assessment of the Marmot Review in the UK in 2010 on planning for a fair society and healthy lives.