THE SOCIAL POWER OF SUSTAINABILITY
SUSTAINABILITY definition:“Meeting our present needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.” (Report ‘Our Common Future’, Brundtland Commission 1987) . Sustainability consists of three components – environmental conservation, social responsibility and economic development. While most people primarily associate sustainability with environmental conservation, it is also about people and the health of our communities.
Our world is changing rapidly. The urbanisation of the world is growing exponentially. Our natural resources are being depleted. Biodiversity is decreasing. Energy consumption keeps increasing. And scientific or technological innovations alone will not save us.
We need to rethink sustainability: from technological systems to our culture, society and lifestyle. Only, in this way we can create change and reverse the disastrous effects that we, as humans, have had on our planet. We need to rethink sustainable ways we can build our economy, our relations, our behaviors. And the way we live.
We need to aim for social and economical sustainability.
UN Sustainable Development Goals
The UN has provided us with a guide – a list of 17 sustainable goals which lead the path to our future sustainable society. Many of these are social responsibility goals.
The political and financials worlds are aware of these problems. During the World Economic Forum ‘17 in Davos, the new world of ‘Inclusive Capitalism’ has emerged. Because it’s obvious that solving economic issues today depends on the social health of the society.
So, how can we improve our economic system so it meets the world’s need for social responsibility? Inclusive Capitalism is a global movement to engage leaders across business, government and civil sectors and encourage them to practice and invest in ways that extend the opportunities and benefits of our economic system to everyone.
A new economic model: Doughnut Economies
Instead of growth at all costs, a new economic model allows us to thrive while saving the planet. The aim of economic activity should be ‘meeting the needs of all within the means of the planet’. We need economies based on thriving (and not growing) instead of economics based on growing (and not thriving).
(image courtesy: Kate Raworth)
How can social sustainability change the way we build cities?
What can governments, real estate developers, builders and architects do to achieve these goals?
D/DOCK believes in increasing collaboration, and bases all of our efforts on the following vision: to help cities grow sustainably, both on a physical and social resilience level.
1. Governments should focus more on human sustainability in connection with green sustainability. They should facilitate experimentation and flexibility in use and transformation, if this is sustainably beneficial to the people.
2. Real estate developers can be a catalyst for social and ecological return, investing in people and in the resilience of their properties.
3. Builders can use their influence and muscles to invest in new technologies, and provide quality and the accessibility to make good, healthy buildings within “doughnut” budgets. And to upgrade existing buildings.
4. Architects and designers must investigate new scenarios, so their buildings can help restore the natural ecosystem and provide social and human return – buildings that are adaptable, dismountable and energy self-sufficient. Plus new residential typologies that are more hybrid, which will help socialization and cultural inclusiveness.
(image courtesy: Rethinking Happiness – Aldo Cibic)
How can your organization contribute to this transformation to social sustainability?
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