Quito, October 18th, 2016
The UN Habitat Conference Habitat III (Quito, Oct 16-20, 2016) main aim was to promote the commitments of all the UN member states toward sustainable urban development, and to concentrate efforts on the common goals described in the New Urban Agenda, a programmatic document adopted during the Conference.
In this frame Enel Foundation organized the networking event “Cities in the 21st century: Sustainable energy for sustainable cities”, to explore the main challenges of urbanization process in the 21st century, stimulate the debate among different stakeholders and converge on rethinking sustainable cities.
Representatives of Institutions, academia, global organizations and the private sector analyzed urbanization as a multi-faceted process that affects various aspects of modern society bringing acute social inequalities and serious environmental issues.
Understanding energy and material flows through cities lies at the heart of the journey towards sustainable transition, a journey in which electric utilities play a relevant role as key partners of public institutions in the continuous search for efficient solutions to main urban challenges: energy and resource efficiency, mobility and pollution, resilience to climate change.
The event staged:
- the presentation of the book “Cities in the 21st Century”, edited by O. Nello and R. Mele, (Routledge) analyzing multiple aspects of urban challenges, as socio-economic power of the global city network, urban ecosystems, social inequalities. It combines a multi level perspective with both papers from top scholars and real case studies implemented in over 25 cities of 5 continents.
- a debate addressing the issue of energy access and use in informal settlements. About 800 million people around the world live in informal settlements, suffering the economic consequences of insufficient power for productive income-generating activities and lack for other basic services such as health and education. Low income people generally uses energy less efficient equipment, and so they pay more for the same final service. To address this point Enel Foundation, with UN-Habitat and Politecnico di Milano, developed an analysis of energy services and user’s behaviors in informal settlements, surveying inhabitants with the support of community-based organizations and the electric utility serving the area. These results are discussed among academic experts, representative of UN-Habitat and of electric company focusing on recommendations to improve quality of life, reducing inequalities and enabling community progress using electricity.