Controlar o Nosso Futuro Urbano

NOVA IORQUE – No fim deste século, dez mil milhões de pessoas habitarão o nosso planeta, e 8,5 mil milhões viverão em cidades. Isto poderá tornar-se num pesadelo. Mas, com suficiente vontade política, visão, e criatividade – juntamente com algumas mudanças simples e práticas de política – poderemos ser capazes de criar cidades de sonho.

As cidades são centros de poder económico e social. Impulsionam o desenvolvimento nacional e global ao concentrar competências, ideias, e recursos numa única localização. Mas o rápido desenvolvimento urbano acarreta um pesado custo. À medida que as cidades se expandem, utilizam terreno que poderia de outro modo ser utilizado para a produção de alimentos. Esgotam os abastecimentos de água, são o destino de quase 70% da utilização global de energia, e geram mais de 70% das emissões de gases responsáveis pelo efeito de estufa.

Para que o crescimento global seja sustentável e equitativo, precisaremos de alterar o equilíbrio entre a rápida urbanização e o inexorável consumo de recursos que esta potencia. Este é um objectivo principal da Conferência da ONU sobre o Desenvolvimento Sustentável, que já advertiu contra as pressões sem precedentes que o crescimento económico colocará nas próximas décadas sobre as infra-estruturas (especialmente de transporte), a habitação, o tratamento de resíduos (especialmente de substâncias perigosas), e o aprovisionamento energético.

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