United Nations Environment Programme

Cities depend on their surrounding bio-physical landscape, utilising goods and services provided to urban populations from ecosystems. These include provisioning services such as food and water; regulating services such as climate and flood control; supporting services such as nutrient cycling and crop pollination; and cultural services such as connecting urban inhabitants to natural values. The health of the ecological system within and surrounding the city influences the health of the city itself.

Every 30 seconds someone dies in a road crash. That’s over 1.2 million people every year dying on the world’s roads. The World Health Organization’s Global Road Safety Report of 2015 shows that, worst still, half of these deaths are vulnerable road users – pedestrians, cyclists and motorcyclists. Tragically, 500 children die every day in road crashes.

In homes and workplaces, schools and hospitals, technologies such as boilers and air-conditioners consume vast amounts of energy. Indeed, half the energy buildings use is for heating and cooling and most of this comes from fossil fuels, burned in buildings’ individual boilers and in power plants on the outskirts of our cities. Citizens, cities and countries are starting to take real action to move away from this status quo to more sustainable solutions, and this monumental shift is cutting greenhouse gas emissions, cleaning our air, saving money and reducing energy imports.