Quito, 20 October 2016 Saving and efficient handling of material, energy and land is central for a sustainable urban development, said Maria Krautzberger, president of the German Federal Environmental Agency (UBA) at Habitat III. Adriana Zacarias (UNEP) presented the outcomes of WRF Latin America and the Caribbean and called cities “enablers of transformation”. A function based approach was needed, such as “give mobility no cars”, as well as a boost in sustainable investments with a vision of long-term costs and addressing social housing.
The event “Rapid Urbanization and Material Usage: Resource Efficiency through Sustainable Construction and Urban Planning” was organised by UBA, UNEP, the World Resources Forum and the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) during Habitat III.
Following prognoses for urban development in the coming decades up to 6.5 billion people will live in cities until 2050 – about 2.5 billion more than today. This enormous urban expansion will have local, regional and global effects and put pressure on demands on materials and natural resources like minerals, metals, ores and land. Participants discussed how the rapid urbanization can be shaped in a resource efficient and land saving way. The event helped stakeholders understand why it is crucial to handle urban resources efficient and sustainable. They understood better what the potential challenges in urban planning with focus on resource efficiency are and how we could react on the enormous urban expansion in a resource efficient way – on local, regional and global level.