Il futuro delle città è nelle nostre mani

NEW YORK – Entro la fine di questo secolo, dieci milioni di persone popoleranno il nostro pianeta, di cui 8,5 miliardi nelle città. Forse un incubo. Forse, con un’adeguata volontà politica, le giuste idee e la creatività, oltre ad alcuni semplici e pratici cambiamenti, potremmo invece creare le città dei nostri sogni.

Le città sono centri di potere economico e sociale. Guidano lo sviluppo nazionale e globale concentrando competenze, idee e risorse in un unico luogo. Ma un rapido sviluppo urbano richiede un caro prezzo. Per soddisfare la sete di espansione, le città divorano il terreno che verrebbe altrimenti impiegato per la produzione alimentare. Prosciugano l’approvvigionamento idrico, incidono quasi per il 70% sull’uso energetico globale e generano oltre il 70% delle emissioni di gas serra.

Se la crescita globale deve essere sostenibile ed equa, avremo bisogno di alterare l’equilibrio tra rapida urbanizzazione e accanimento nel consumo delle risorse che alimenta. Questo è l’obiettivo principale della Conferenza Onu sullo sviluppo sostenibile, che ha messo in guardia sulle pressioni senza precedenti che la crescita economica imporrà nei prossimi decenni sulle infrastrutture (soprattutto sui trasporti), sul settore immobiliare, sullo smaltimento dei rifiuti (soprattutto sulle sostanze pericolose) e sulle forniture energetiche.

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