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Technology for Good: ICT enabling Sustainable Cities

What do Tokyo, Shanghai, Delhi, Mexico City and Sao Paulo all have in common? They are cities with over 20 million people living in them….giving you an idea of just how global, and how many people are impacted, by concerns of city development.

I’ve lived in New York City my entire life, and I’ve never travelled to a city I didn’t love. All those lives and lifestyles intersecting, the diversity, the dynamism…. cities are exciting places!

But cities are also sites of extreme poverty, dangerous health risks, mangled infrastructures, and safety concerns. Many low income countries have sprawling mega-cities where basic living conditions simply aren’t met.

In this video Jeffrey Sachs, a world-renowned economist and director of the Earth Institute at Columbia University (not to mention 2015 Global Citizen Festival host), tells us how billions more people in the world are expected to live in cities in the coming decades. With urban populations booming, it’s all the more important for cities to be safe, be clean, be healthful, provide good job opportunities, have good infrastructures and public institutions. Elements so many of the world’s cities are currently lacking.

That’s why there’s Global Goal 11: Sustainable Cities, one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals that is fully concentrated on making the world’s cities sites of success.

Information communications technologies are crucial to bring about this change. Technologies can bring better health and transportation systems, improve livability, ensure there is clean water and clean air. From bringing internet access to the world’s classrooms, to cleaner energy sources in office buildings—technology can make a huge difference in how cities operate.

Better technologies, better systems, better designs...it’s what Global Goal 11 is going to be all about.