“Building sustainable and resilient cities” is this year’s World Cities Day theme where the spotlight on building sustainable cities came to the fore. The United Nations General Assembly has designated this celebration with the expectation to greatly promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization, push forward cooperation among countries in meeting opportunities and addressing challenges of urbanization, and contributing to sustainable urban development around the world.
In 2018, 1.7 billion people—23 per cent of the world’s population— lived in a city with at least 1 million inhabitants. In 2030, a projected 28 per cent of people worldwide will be concentrated in cities with at least 1 million inhabitants, as explains United Nations. Thus, anticipated urban growth, as well as, building a sustainable framework is critical.
A sustainability perspective always includes balancing priorities across several areas, including the economy, community needs, and environmental quality, but also equity, health and well-being, energy, water and materials resources, and transportation and mobility needs.
In terms of energy, renewables can bring tremendous benefits to cities, including cleaner air, modern services and improved living spaces. At the same time, cities are crucial to the world’s transition to a low-carbon economy, accounting for 65% of global energy use and 70% of man-made carbon emissions.
Many European actions, initiatives and projects are working to provide solutions to those energy challenges in cities, like CROSSBOW project.
CROSSBOW aims at proposing the shared use of resources to foster cross-border management of variable renewable energies and storage units, enabling a higher penetration of clean energies whilst reducing network operational costs and improving economic benefits of clean energies and storage units.