In the next 40 years, the global population is expected to grow by 2.3 billion people with the majority expected to live in urban spaces. Even today, over half of the world population lives in cities. On the contrary, COVID-19 has resulted in over 40% of city-dwellers considering leaving the cities for less populated areas – which could be devastating to the global economy.
With the pandemic creating unprecedented changes for our cities, we are entering a time where the focus should be on improving our cities and creating environments for residents to feel comfortable and safe. According to National Geographic, urbanization is occurring all over the world, and if approached in a sustainable way, it can improve lives and create a healthier world.
Cities play a huge role in high rates of consumption, continuously serving as a main driver of economic growth. Building off of this high rate of production and consumption, using sustainable platforms to encourage residents to stay local with their shopping habits will increase civic engagement in addition to keeping money local.
When residents of a city are included in decisions and discussions about the future of communities, it is shown that they can create positive and sustainable change within their city. The people that reside in big and small cities around the world are the first to experience challenges that face cities, therefore they should be included in the conversation.
At Colu, we create a platform for cities to engage with residents while simultaneously helping the local economy grow. Using a sustainable platform, such as the application that Colu creates uniquely for each city, will help not only improve civic engagement but allow residents to feel more connected with their local government.
“We recognize the need for public-private partnerships to help boost local consumption and promote diversity and equity in cities,” noted Michael Mazur, Vice President of Business Development at Colu. residents will feel more connected to their city and feel that they play an integral part in the transformation of their city.
Although building sustainable cities has always been important, COVID-19 has created new motivation for cities to recover and build back more resilient than before. This pandemic has opened up new opportunities for city leaders to increase engagement and inclusivity with their residents.
The mission for city leaders during this time should be building long lasting solutions to help local governments recover and build resilient communities to keep residents safe and engaged. Building a city that is resident-driven will not only improve city life for all involved, it will also build better relationships between residents and their municipality and help drive economic growth due to higher rates of local consumption.
Successfully accomplishing urban development will result in cities becoming more resilient in various ways including: creating jobs and better livelihoods; increasing economic growth; protecting local ecosystems; reducing poverty; and improving civic engagement. By incorporating platforms such as the app that Colu specially designs for cities, small businesses, local governments, and community members are all supported. “Civic engagement is key, and we’re using technology and behavioral economics to help cities achieve their goals,” Mazur stated.