Adeela Hameed

Sustainable Development: For Today and Tomorrow

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Sustainable development is cleaner, has potential to be efficient, and is the only way forward for a growing world economy. People misuse a lot of non-renewable resources. As the population increases, more of resources will be required and faster will the reserves be depleted. Over time, sustainable development will no longer be an option for people. It will be the only available choice for everyone. It is simply a matter of time.

Arcadis’ Sustainable Cities Index ranks 100 cities around the world for their performance across three pillars. These are:

  1. People (social): This pillar looks at quality of life, assesses areas such as health, education and work-life balance.
  2. Planet (environmental): This pillar looks at areas including energy consumption, renewable energy share, and green spaces.
  3. Profit (economic): The economic pillar examines environment and economic health of the city. Sub-pillars in this category include ease of doing business, GDP per capita and connectivity.

According to the 2016 report, the following cities were listed as the top ten sustainable cities of the world. In descending order, these are: Zurich, Singapore, Stockholm, Vienna, London, Frankfurt, Seoul, Hamburg, Prague, and Munich.

It is really disheartening to realize that not even one Indian city made it to the list. What does it showcase? It displays that India can spend money on nukes and militia but cannot make an effort to sustain its cities. With population explosion reaching new pinnacles everyday, sustainable living is required even more now. China has been at the forefront as the most populous country in the world. However, stringent efforts helped it control the ever-growing birth rate as well as limit excess utilisation of resources. It recycles almost everything now; a huge step towards reclaiming lost power and superiority.

India needs to work really hard on all three aspects of Sustainable City Index criteria. To improve society, a healthy plan is necessary. We boast of intellectuals and smart professionals in every line of work. Let them use their knowledge for the benefit of fellow citizens. For environmental aspect, over-use of non-renewable energy sources should be stopped. India decided to lead the world in the domain of solar energy. Why not improve on that and develop technology that caters to this ultimate source of power. For profit in the economic sector, now of all times, we can do better. With the world economy on lockdown, a restart has been provided, one that hardly ever happens in the normal operation of any country. Why should the economists not utilize this quarantine time to rethink objectives and bring about innovative methodologies to boost the GDP of India. The question, whether Indians have the determination to make this transition toward sustainability on their own or if they’ll simply be forced to make a rapid shift when all other options finally run out, needs an answer, NOW!

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