Most people now live in cities which are the epicentres of human activity. While covering 3 per cent of earth's surface, cities consume 78 per cent of the world's energy and produce more than 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions.
As national leaders gather in Glasgow for COP 26 to discuss the best ways to mitigate climate change, we the readers of Smart Cities World want these 10 principles to be reflected in any final Agreement.
The principles will help us all in the move towards net zero carbon emissions and also immeasurably improve the lives of a city's citizens.
INCLUSION: Including all citizens in decision making drives the best results. The hallmarks of good city governance are participation, transparency, accountability and open data.
DIVERSITY: Encouraging diversity is a key principle in fostering city-scale resilience and sustainability.
RESILIENCE: Cities with a resilience strategy are better equipped to protect their citizens and environment from the worst effects of climate change.
WELLBEING: City strategies measured by wellbeing indices deliver better long term outcomes that cities driven by economic measure alone.
GREEN SPACES: The cities that create and preserve green spaces for native trees and flora create bigger long-term resilience, wellbeing, and prosperity for their citizens and the bio-sphere.
NATIONAL-LEVEL SUPPORT: Cities committing to net-zero targets and a 'just transition' should be actively encouraged and supported by national government programmes to help nations achieve their ambitions.
INFRASTRUCTURE: The best cities give citizens access to infrastructure that provides physical safety, clean sanitation, waste disposal, clean air, a renewable energy supply, digital connectivity.
SYSTEMS THINKING: Nations that equip leaders with systems thinking, including the ability to build on system synergies and circular economy principles, are most likely to meet their challenging net zero targets.
DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY: Cities using secure digital technology to measure and manage activity across city-systems are more able to bring about effective local change then those without the data.
HEALTHY TRANSPORT: Prioritising active transport, then public transport, then private transport is the way to go.