Global Sustainability

Global Sustainability is a hot topic nowadays. Unfortunately there is no single solution to this problem, rather to resolve this issue many factors must be taken into account. In this wiki we highlight what we believe are the key issues humanity must overcome to reach global sustainability as well as the potential solutions to these problems. To be “sustainable” three factors need to be addressed, the economic situation of both developed and developing nations, social factors that effect humanity and finally our impact on the environment. This is termed the triple bottom line.


Solutions to Sustainability:

1.- Eliminate poverty and stabilize population
--------- Provide adequate food for all people

2.- Protect and restore the Earth’s resources

3.- Design sustainable cities

The first step in achieving sustainability must be to eliminate poverty and stabilize our population. Poverty affects a huge number of people on this planet as 1.4 billion people are currently living in extreme poverty ( This is a massive issue in developing nations as it has a detrimental effect on their social well being. The rate in which our population is expanding is terrifying, simply put; there are more people alive today than have ever been here in the past. Without stabilization measures it is only a matter of time before we exceed the planets carrying capacity and problems such as mass starvation due to lack of food occur.

One of the key solutions to eliminating poverty and stabilizing the population is to provide adequate food for all people on Earth. Providing adequate food for everyone is the starting ground and one of the basic necessities of life. When a population is not adequately fed they are not working at the maximum efficiency and due to malnourishment they are more susceptible to disease. These are both root cause factors, which contribute to poverty.

The Earth itself cannot become sustainable if we do not take measures to protect and restore its natural resources. Resolving this issue has the added benefit of helping humanity as well. If we continue to over extract renewable and non-renewable resources eventually we will reach a point where civilizations could begin to collapse. For example without electricity (which is created predominantly from coal) the way we live would change drastically. Humanity needs to realize that the Earth’s resources are finite and once they are gone the non-renewables will be gone forever, while the renewables can take decades to return to sustaining levels.

Finally, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation, a non-profit, private operating foundation focusing on global health policies, the weighted global average of people living in cities is 50%. Upon closer look the majority of developed nations have an even higher percentage of people living in cities, for example:

Australia: 83%
Belgium: 97%
Canada: 81%
Czech Republic: 74%
Denmark: 72%
France: 77%
Japan: 86%
Mexico: 77%
New Zealand: 86%
Russia: 73%
Spain: 77%
Sweden: 84%


Because developed nations on average have a comparatively high amount of people living in cities and they use more resources when compared to developing nations it only makes sense that we start to design our cities to become more sustainable. Cities that are not designed sustainably contribute to such things as urban sprawl, which needlessly uses up valuable land. Also the increased pavement associated with urban sprawl interrupts the natural hydrological cycle, and creates urban heat islands. Through the development of sustainable cities we are not only preserving the environment, we would also be contributing to social and economically benefits.