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A third key message from the event is about the mobilization of resources and states that sustainable urban development is a key source of employment and economic growth but requires adequate financing to deliver its potential. Yet the question of financing sustainable urban development remains to be properly addressed at the international and national levels.

Moreover, many cities face the costly struggle of adapting to increased vulnerability to climate change and natural disasters. The revenue and expenditure share of sub-national authorities is not commensurate with the financial burden these realities impose on them. Truly, the transformation envisioned by the sustainable development agenda requires that attention be paid to cities as the core of a more sustainable future.

Principally, this event helped showcase this critical reality. More importantly, this gathering of so many stakeholders constituted a key turning point in terms of successfully implementing SDG 11 in an integrated approach with other SDGs, as well as of localizing the Sustainable Development Agenda. A more sustainable future depends on the movement that was born on 28 September , a movement that understands the vital role of cities in ensuring a world that is safe for future generations. For more information, please read our full Key Messages paper, as well as our Outcomes Report from the event.

Sustainable development - Wikipedia

You can also watch recordings of the entire event! Click here for part 1, and here for part 2. Article by Christopher Dekki, Communitas Coalition. Skip to main content. For instance, why employing a lot of labor force for parking control in congested cities if this activity may be automated? Why employing labor force for park and street maintenance if this labor force could be assigned to more profitable activities linked to new technologies? This will be answered in the following pages, and the argument is really based on a very specific fact: neither physical nor human capital can easily be substituted for in short terms.

This affects the basic assumption regarding the mobility of the factors, which, for the same reason, undergo mutations and their attributes change as time goes by. The difference in those countries is that private investment in sectors other than household kept growing, but precisely because of its advantages in terms of innovation and control of global and financial markets. And this is something that most of the countries cannot imitate, dispute, replicate or substitute with private activities absorbing employment.

Thus in developing nations, sustainability requires the implementation of technologies, but also of continuous processes of repair, maintenance, landscaping and other tasks intensive in low-skilled labor. These activities related to urban maintenance and the transformation of cities will then guarantee that sustainability will cover all the scope of its dimensions: the right of future generations to have natural resources and a preserved environment, but also to be certain they will be able to incorporate themselves in the labor market and thus increase their productivity.

That is, the concept of sustainability includes the respect for the right to life and to a certain material progress. This certainly makes innovations and investment affordable for countries with lower relative development and fosters sustainable consumption to a level that is at the same time sufficient and dignified. Others might consider it an underhanded attempt to reformulate Socialism in the twenty-first century, or as an impossible utopia; some others will object to the world-scale fiscal agreement that is implied, and of course some will accuse the author of trying to justify Capitalism and will ask him to be reasonable for the sake of his own survival.

Neither can they ignore the fact that this conflict can only be settled in the field of politics. This has been analyzed by Hanna Arendt, who defined politics as something specifically devoted to recognizing the uniqueness of each human being. But apart from all this, economics as a science is not completely autonomous with respect to the world of values and of the interpretation of the value that each human being attaches to other human beings and how general well-being may depend on this. Yet it is not by chance that these questions emerge now, after almost seven decades of global economic expansion, when in times of prosperity it seemed even unnecessary to formulate them.

And if no new ideas or approaches crop up, it is most likely that there will be loads of analyses, recipes, opinions and controversies which, in general, are more of the same or slightly different versions of old recipes. It is just logical; it would not be a time of deep crisis in the field of reality and of the prevailing ideas otherwise. This is a dangerous situation for it brings about futile debates which in turn lead to fluctuating policies and ideological preferences, and this hinders the consolidation and maintenance of well-being with some level of equity and sustainability.

Sometimes this debate gets off the narrow path of corrections of macroeconomic policies, as is the case between those in favor of adjustments in public accounts and those against them — generally in the field of monetary and fiscal policies. Then two opposing paradigms prevail. On the other, there is the false belief that policies placing a greater emphasis on market mechanisms and individual and corporate creativity will ensure a growth path once the crisis is over.

And that this will finally reflect what each one, each nation and the world as a whole are capable of reaching according to individual and corporate merits, and to a sort of unique recipe regarding the necessary improvements of political institutions. The debate, then, ends in anti-capitalist trends — which may or may not relate to the Marxist thought and its inexorable vision of the end of capitalism —, or in a repetitive recipe of policies aiming to correct something vaguely defined as market failures. This debate has not moved forward significantly over the last hundred years either, and experiences in real socialism have not been successful enough to survive, except in those cases in which individual liberties were suppressed in different degrees, and standards of living were such that many would consider unreasonable in view of the opportunities that technological progress and human knowledge offer today.

Nor has there been a deep self-criticism of such real socialisms. Their fall has certainly been the consequence of political, economic and planning failures, as well as of the influence of a proactive ideology which exacerbated the virtues of the free market and considered state interventions pernicious.

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The debate has then become unnecessarily obscure because, in general, it is always possible to try to reach relative objectivity based at least on some empirical evidence 5. In spite of his ideological and theoretical shifts, Joseph Eugene Stiglitz 6 is a paradigmatic representative of those critical of that view. However, this critique of the failures of self-regulated markets has become more intense both at the popular level and in different theoretical approaches pointing to the weakness of the neoclassical approach. Such weakness has certainly been difficult to refute; yet, this approach has strongly prevailed, to the point that the concept of democracy itself has been gradually related to that of the free market.

Though this ideology became weaker after the crisis, it is far from defeated. And there are very few attempts to rethink the Global Agenda for Sustainable Development from a perspective different from that of the institutions created at Bretton Woods. Ultimately, the view put forward by the institutions belonging to the United Nations system prevails, a view held by the new world order of the second half of the twentieth century. Such world order, carefully and methodically articulated around the concept of sustainable development, at times poses serious inconsistencies, which a certain rhetoric only manages to conceal.

And the implementation of its recommendations and instruments does not bring about a solution to one of the most pressing problems of the twenty-first century, that of employment and equality. And this might not be wrong.

Sustainability for the 21st Century

But the emphasis is mainly placed on issues such as the environment, gender equity, the role of the civil society and of indigenous communities, rather than on the sustainability of the creation of product flows that will absorb job demands by the young and future generations needed to reach decent standards of living. The problem of poverty and urban marginality is scarcely dealt with in an explicit manner, and is frequently considered a housing problem, not related to the logic of modernization, urbanization and the operation of the productive system.

However, their conclusions are not firm enough, nor do they reflect clearly the relation between these issues and other aspects of sustainable development and the set of policies that these bodies propose.

On the one hand, most undeveloped nations still depend strongly on the world demand for some type of raw material or natural resource. On the other, the fall in the price of such commodities may slow down processes such as re-industrialization, growing service supply and expansion of public spending and investment, activated after in an important number of countries which thus managed to improve their human development levels and their possibilities to create new wealth. Also, though not in all cases, a more efficient distribution and greater equality were recorded in that period.

However, those levels were not enough to reduce extreme poverty, the growth of slums and urban and rural marginality. In these cases, the recent fall in the price of raw materials — whether mineral, energy, food or other types — threatens to slow down those improvements. Such a scenario will easily result in violence, corruption and social disintegration, which in turn will worsen the processes that started at the end of the s. A geopolitical redefinition is also perceived, which tends to force the return to a uni-polar world that would reduce even more the possibilities of reaching sustainable, inclusive and more equitable development.

The Spanish, Greek and Portuguese cases, among others, have been paradigmatic. Solutions to this problem by financial institutions such as the International Monetary Fund IMF , the European Central Bank and others have been highly inflexible and improperly orthodox, mainly as a consequence of the world-scale influence of the international financial system. An example of this is the fact that only a quarter of the Greek rescue package is devoted to investment, which clearly shows that the priority is, at best, to put the macroeconomic context on a sound footing in the belief that this will in turn lead to new investments triggered by market mechanisms.

Others may see this as a new surge of wealth concentration led by the richest countries, or rather by the elites in those countries. Forbes, D. Coastal Zones and Marine Ecosystems.

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Sustainable development

Thanks are due to staff of Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly and the anonymous reviewers and the editors of the journal for their great and constructive comments. The data that was generated during the study are not publicly available. The reason being that the data were mainly obtained from the field through in-depth interviews. However, the data are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request. The author conceived the idea and did the preliminary write-up. He performed the analyses; drafted and edited the manuscript. The author read and approved the final manuscript.

Correspondence to Ebenezer Owusu-Sekyere. Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations. Reprints and Permissions. Search all SpringerOpen articles Search. Abstract This article pays attention to the activities of Kaya Bola KBs —informal waste collectors in Kumasi, Ghana whose imperatives are given little attention in the sustainable development narratives.

Introduction Many Sub-Sahara African countries today are defined by increasing urbanization amidst chronic financial constraints Onyanta, ; UN, Conceptualizing Kaya Bola , exceptionalism and sustainable development Kaya Bola or KBs is a localized term in Ghana which refers to informal waste collectors who operationally use simple tools like plastic containers, wooden boxes, and wheel-barrows among others for solid waste collection.

Map of Ghana showing the study area. Full size image. Results and discussion Conceptual roots of Kaya Bola The field evidence indicated that popularity of KBs was in response to two sets of factors: inefficiencies in formal solid waste collection and as a campaign to combat poverty. Number of years in waste collection. Kaya Bola services in terms of residential classification. Frequency of waste collection by Kaya Bola. Conclusion Significantly, this study has contributed to the understanding of how the informal sector, specifically KBs, has used their creative skills to fully participate in the urban economy through informal waste collection.

Notes 1. All names do not represent the actual names of respondents 2. About USD at January, exchange rate 3. About USD 6. References Baud, I. Google Scholar Cointreau, S. Google Scholar Davis, M. Google Scholar Forbes, D. Article Google Scholar Gough, K. Google Scholar Grant, R.

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Article Google Scholar Grosso, M. Google Scholar Guha-Khasnobis, B. Google Scholar Hart, K. Google Scholar Manton, J. Google Scholar Meagher, K. Article Google Scholar Medina, M. Google Scholar Moore, S. Google Scholar Obirih-Opareh, N. Google Scholar Onyanta, A.