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Sustainable Cities and Communities: Using Location Intelligence to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals

The UN's 2030 Agenda clearly states that the entire world should become more sustainable by 2030. The Sustainable Development Goals set by the member states are made up of 17 sub-aspects.


 

Are cities, municipalities and communities only concerned by goal number 11 "Sustainable cities and communities"? Not at all! As stakeholders at the heart of the process, they play a key role for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). In almost all of the areas, they are setting the course for a more sustainable future by 2030 and are playing a decisive role in driving Germany forward. It is indeed a mammoth task to maintain an overview of the various dimensions of sustainability and to leave no aspect out.

From the Abstract to the Specific

There is a difficulty here that you probably don't even think of at first. The abstract concepts of the sustainability goals must be broken down into specific subgoals. After all, goals can only be achieved and progress can only be determined if it is also measurable. Anyone who has dealt more intensively with project management has certainly come across the SMART method (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, Timely). This describes that the more specifically goals are defined, the more effectively and quickly they can be achieved. 

With an abstract concept like sustainability, it helps to break down the phenomenon into specific metrics and define indicators that show the status in a particular area. For the Sustainable Development Goals, the SDG Portal project (Sustainable Development Goals Portal) was launched for this purpose. It defines the individual Sustainable Development Goals for cities and municipalities in more concrete terms and assigns specific indicators to them. Geospin is also using these data as a basis and they are thus embedded in the Geospin portal

An example - The 11th Sustainability Goal

Let's take Sustainability Goal number 11 as an example, which directly affects cities and communities: sustainable cities and communities.

But what does that mean exactly?

The SDG portal distinguishes the following aspects here:

  • "ensuring access to appropriate, safe and affordable housing and a fitting primary care
  • providing access to sustainable traffic systems
  • improving road safety
  • enhancing sustainable settlement planning
  • improving disaster control
  • reducing environmental impacts
  • ensuring access to green spaces, as well as to foster economic, ecological and social connections between peri-urban and rural areas."
    (https://sdg-portal.de/en/17-goals/nachhaltige-staedte-und-gemeinden-1)

All these aspects can be made measurable through certain indicators. Indicators are nothing more than data, all of which can be grouped under the category of geospatial data.

What kind of data could this be for the aspects mentioned above?

Quite simple: 

  • rent per m2
  • living space per person
  • basic supply close to home
  • car density
  • traffic accident victims
  • land use, land use intensity
  • local recreation areas
  • completed residential buildings with renewable energy

Once these indicators have been identified, it is all the easier to classify different municipalities and cities in terms of the sustainability target. In this way, there is the chance for comparability.


 

Sustainability and Location Intelligence

Indicators thus show where you currently stand. But how do you derive concrete action steps? 

This is where Location Intelligence comes in, and with it LIA, our Location Intelligence Assistant. LIA helps to identify the factors that determine each indicator.

  • How do prices for real estate in a neighborhood behave and where do they become more expensive and where more favorable? What forecasts can be made for the future?  
  • LIA can display all relevant points of interest of the basic supply in the Geospin portal and thus makes visible where a need to catch up is. 
  • LIA shows data on traffic flow, how high is the traffic load at highway exits, at what times and at what location?
  • How much access do citizens have to a sustainable transportation system? Where are car-sharing providers already located and where is the best place to build a new charging station?
  • Improvements from disaster management are especially easy to implement when LIA displays and analyzes floodplains.

The visualizations in the Geospin portal give the key figures something more vivid and they can be analyzed from the map directly. You can see how different cities and municipalities are aligned in certain areas. This provides the opportunity to identify similarly positioned municipalities and to exchange ideas on possible solutions and benefit from the experience of others.

Of course, cities and municipalities cannot all be measured in the same way. Depending on the location and situation, other indicators and key figures are more important. With LIA, you can adapt the individual data using various filters. In this way, you receive precisely tailored data for your questions.

LIA includes data on almost all of the 17 areas of the Sustainable Development Goals. This enables a holistic view of the goals for cities and communities! No more risk of losing sight of some goals.


 

🌳 Location Intelligence and LIA are therefore a true all-purpose tool for a more sustainable future! 🌳

Map out your city or community today and use LIA to derive specific needs for action.

Try LIA for free

 

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