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A place with added benefits

Sustainable cities and communities is Goal 11 of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. It aims to make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient, and lasting.

For us, the SDGs provide a framework for guiding social, environmental, and economic progress. Through our projects and operations, we directly contribute to seven SDGs. These are good health and well-being (Goal 3), quality education (Goal 4), clean water and sanitation (Goal 6), affordable and clean energy (Goal 7), industry, innovation, and infrastructure (Goal 9), sustainable cities and communities (Goal 11), and climate action (Goal 13).

Because the goals are highly interdependent, progress on one will affect all or some of the others. So, a solar array isn’t wholly about generating electricity, and flood defenses protect a community from more than water.  It’s all about making connections, challenging assumptions, and turning potential benefits into value-adding outcomes.

Creating great places for people can contribute indirectly to many SDGs, including these:

Goal 3 - Good health and well-being

Goal 3 - Good health and well-being

More and better spaces enable exercise, encourage being outdoors, and aid physical and mental health. Significantly less traffic improves air quality, reduces noise, and increases the safety of pedestrians and cyclists. Designing buildings and facilities with good air flow and few touchpoints, and using infection-resistant materials can make communities more resilient to future pandemics.

Goal 6 - Clean water and sanitation

Goal 6 - Clean water and sanitation

Nature-based solutions can protect, manage, and restore natural and modified ecosystems. Urban wetlands can capture and clean stormwater to replenish the underground aquifer, while sustainable drainage systems help reduce pollution in rivers and provide protection against flooding.

Goal 7 - Affordable energy

Goal 7 - Affordable energy

Solar panels in roofs, windows, or facades can generate power, and state-of-art building management systems reduce energy load. Energy-efficient buildings minimize the need for space heating and cooling, making the best economic use of resources and keeping bills low for consumers.

Goal 8 - Economic growth

Goal 8 - Economic growth

New developments are often the catalyst for economic and social transformation, delivering new infrastructure and facilities that provide jobs and boost local economies, and more efficient transport links to access employment and training opportunities further afield. Factory-built, modular buildings and components allow manufacturing to take place where it makes the most sense, economically and on a human level.

Goal 9 - Industry innovation and infrastructure

Goal 9 - Industry innovation and infrastructure

Digital tools help speed up project design, decision-making, development and delivery, and the operation of assets. Better and more extensive use of asset data gives asset owners and operators better insights into its condition and performance, enabling them to make better interventions that produce better outcomes for people and communities.

Goal 10 - Reduced inequalities

Goal 10 - Reduced inequalities

Inclusivity means new neighborhoods are designed for a range of people, from apartments for single and young adults to family homes and housing for the elderly and those with special needs. Mixed and balanced communities foster social diversity, redress social exclusion, and strengthen a collective sense of responsibility for, and identity with, the neighborhood.

Goal 12 - Responsible consumption and production

Goal 12 - Responsible consumption and production

Building Information Modeling (BIM) combined with offsite and modular construction improves the quality of buildings and their components, delivering developments faster and significantly reducing material waste and whole-life carbon.

Goal 13 - Climate action

Goal 13 - Climate action

Carbon emissions are reduced by designing and constructing infrastructure for long life, with adaptation, recovery, and reuse in mind. Existing infrastructure is retrofitted with energy-efficient physical upgrades and digital technologies. Nature-based solutions, designed to encourage biodiversity and work with natural systems, help build resilience to the physical impacts of climate change.

Goal 17 - Partnerships for the goals

Goal 17 - Partnerships for the goals

Working in partnership with our clients and the communities is how we operate. It’s the only way to ensure our cities remain places people want to be … and everyone has the opportunity to thrive.

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