UNLEASH Insights: Sustainable Cities and Communities

Introduction, Many houses do not make a city. As trivial as this insight may sound, unfortunate you can find many examples all over the world where this theoretical has not led to viable results. Various indigenous communities in many countries around has developed their shelters in one place and living inside without calculating the availability of other essential needs for them to live. This has resulted into social calamities such as eruption of diseases, congestion, poor transportation facilities, lack of health facilities to mention few. An OnFrontiers-UNLEASH expert,  Mr. Suleiman Kiula shares his insights on the sustainable cities anc communities.

Sustainable cities and communities, as per United Nation Development Programme (UNDP), for making cities and communities settlements secure, resilient and sustainable for all of us to survive and prosper we need new, intelligent urban planning that create safe, affordable and resilient cities with green and cultural inspiring living conditions. UNDP advocate this concepts as its Goal number 111

Proper urban planning and development, involve much more than layering levels of infrastructure like water, energy, transportation and communication as well as other facilities and ultimately building house. Building the house with these facilities must also consider the provision of communities’ spaces for the residents and visitors.

Why sustainable cities and communities, globalization has joined the world together with technology. People can communicate and transfer information so rapidly without involving the physical traveling of people from one point to another. It imposed challenges especially in many developing countries to connect their social-economical infrastructures to attain the need of the communities as well as the trends of the current global development requirements. Communities want to have the same feeling and physical taste of materials things in their localities like in other well developed and secured parts of the world. Basing on the previously built structures and infrastructure, this has never been easily attained using the same concepts, so push new thinking to sustainable cities to secure the communities.

Implementing the concept of proper urban planning, as discussed above, Goal 11 of UNDP discussed, the implementation of the concept is perceived to win the political popularity. Many cities are developed while lacking the essential features for resilient, secure, affordable and sustainable cities. This makes it hard and high cost, congestion and time consuming when traveling for necessary service that one could assume to access them in the same city living if only the concepts were followed sustainably.

What should be done for proper implementations?

This is the hot question for everyone to think about based on the community one from, as for my community experience in Tanzania, the United Republic of, Political willingness is the major factor to push, supervise and account for creating a conducive environment for both public and private participation. By doing such assure execution of development visions at a place which is also a part of MDG’s2, a lot has been witnessed that also contributed to the change of mindset and behavior of both indigenous community and foreigners who are looking for the local opportunities. Every actor who is willing and able to grab opportunities is doing so in a very transparency, inclusive and common interest to attain high returns to the community’s macro economies in the prescribed period.


Suleiman Kiula is an expert in strategic, security, managerial and economics studies with a specialization in urban planning and sustainable cities.