Goal 11 – Sustainable Cities and Communities

Adrienne Porter
sustainable development

Sustainable Cities and Communities

Cities are growing. Even as other populations stay the same, they have been rising in urban areas.

With more people in the world, there is more pressure to preserve the world for them.

With the issue of climate change, it is important to turn to sustainable practices of living.

Since cities are a hub for people, businesses, and waste, they are a great place to start.
The UN reports that 9 in 10 people living in cities do not breathe in quality standard air. 79% of city populations do not have access to open public spaces, and many face shortages of access to clean waterways and waste disposal.
There are a lot of areas in which cities need improvements. There is no reason why these improvements can’t help the people living within them, well helping the environment.

How Trees Can Help

Trees are filters. They can serve as a first line of defence between many of the unsustainable issues that cities face.

Trees are known for their ability to take carbon out of the air. They can be placed strategically in areas to absorb carbon. There’s even another added benefit. If placed right, trees can lower carbon footprints more by causing less of a need for heating or cooling units.

Carbon isn’t the only chemical compound that trees filter. Ozone disruptors such as oxides and gases are also absorbed by trees, and turned into clean air.

Trees even take out dust particles that are harmful for humans to breathe, storing them in their bark. This could significantly help improve the quality of air that people breathe in cities.

Trees filter from the ground as well. Their roots serve to trap in storm water from flooding streets and waterways, stopping the contaminants that travel with it.

All this helps protect existing structures, resources, and people, helping lower the need to use more resources that come with having to repair or help them.
Not having to use more non-reusable resources helps lower the climate change impact that comes with them, and prevents further damage to the Earth.

All around, putting more trees into urban developments works to create sustainable cities. Sustainable cities help to create a sustainable future.

See how trees support all sustainable development goals here.

Image by Michael Pewny from Pixabay.

Adrienne Porter
Adrienne is an undergrad in International Relations and Communication at SUNY Geneseo, New York. Outside of school, she can be found doing extracurriculars, hiking, or enjoying the sun. Adrienne has always prioritized giving back to the environment, and has found ways to do so both abroad and in her home town. She hopes to be able to continue helping the Earth with ForestNation.

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