Egyptian cities are meeting the challenge of sustainable development.
INTA at the 1st Arab forum on Sustainable Communities and Green Buildings - 8-10 December 2014
High-energy consumption in cities, transportation and waste of resources combined with inefficient buildings stock as well as lack of awareness, effective strategies and adoptive policies led to acute climate change (CC) impacts. If cities are responsible for about 80% of the world’s pollution, and buildings consume 40% of world energy, the conceptualisation of sustainable development introduced new perspectives on the role and responsibility of cities in climate change. Seen as an obstacle to ecological protection now the city is the solution to the ecological challenge. Greening urban communities and making building green are amongst the solution to lower energy and water use, manage resources and wastes and improve efficiency of the urban system. An additional benefit is the creation of green-related jobs contributing to economic growth and social needs. Since the Arab cities are blessed with high solar intensity, longer hours of sunshine and wind resources, these factors must be managed effectively and turned into assets.
With the right combination of technology and social innovation, Egyptian cities can increase the quality of life for their residents, while also becoming more environmentally friendly. In other words, there are valid reasons for Egyptian cities to become sustainable and smart.
The population of Arab world is increasing rapidly and will continue to grow in the future; between three quarters and circa 90% of the region’s population already lives in cities. And the numbers are rising. These inhabitants need shelter, food, energy and water to survive. Therefore, this increase will put more demands on the country’s natural resources.
These issues were at the centre of the discussion held in Cairo at the occasion of the 1st Arab Forum on Sustainable Communities and Green Buildings organised by Professors Mohsen Aboulnaga and Manal El Batran of the Green Building Council of Egypt. INTA was one of the sponsors of the Forum attended by over 300 persons from 15 countries, either policy makers or researchers, and industrialists. Several Egyptian ministers grace the proceedings among whom Mostafa Madbouly minister of Housing, Utilities and Urban Development and Leila Iskander, minister of Urban Renewal and Informal Settlements.
Aside nearly 50 technical presentations on climate change, energy efficiency in the housing and construction sector and in transport, the debates served as a platform for the Arab preparation of Habitat III.