(More) humane cities

Illustration: Olga Capdevila

Illustration: Olga Capdevila

It is predicted that by 2050, almost 70% of the world’s population will be living in urban areas. In Spain, this figure is already 80%. The world’s cities only occupy 3% of the Earth’s surface, but they consume between 60 and 80% of the energy and produce 75% of all carbon emissions. The future of the human race, then, is played out in the cities.

Barcelona has seen a migration boom in the 21st century – from 2000 to 2015 more than a million people came here from other countries and from other parts of Catalonia and Spain. Given this demographic reality, the city has to be able to find a new balance that can create decent conditions in the areas of education, healthcare, employment, the environment and housing.

The future of the city must be built on three basic pillars: identity, cohesion and sustainability. The key to the peaceful coexistence of multiple identities is cohesion. And being able to generate a form of cohesion that fosters equality will be a crucial requirement if we are to guarantee a sustainable city.

Is it possible to build more humane cities? To answer this question, various associations and discussion groups took part in a series of talks in November on a number of themes that are summarised here in articles written by the speakers themselves.

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