WED 2005 Logo

WED 2005 theme ‘Green cities- Plan for the planet’ was meant to highlight the effects of one of the most prominent trends of today- the continuing growth of cities and its population. Urban growth has a profound effect on the environment as cities are prolific users of natural resources and generators of waste. Emission of greenhouse gases, air pollution, water pollution, land consumption and several other issues go hand in hand with the development of the cities. Since all these will question our existence itself in the long run, our aim should be to create environment-friendly cities. Even though that is a challenge, with affordable measures that are already available such as clean transport, energy-efficient buildings, safe sanitation and economical water use, and new options that will be available with growth in technology, it is not the least impossible.

There are initiatives such as Sustainable Cities Programme and UN Habitat which help cities to plan and manage their environment and share the lessons with local and national governments worldwide. Managed well, urban settlements can support growing concentrations of people, limiting their impact on the environment and improving their health and living standards. National and local laws and subsidies can discourage waste, encourage conservation and promote sustainable solutions.

WED 2005 was celebrated in San Francisco with this theme, whose relevance grows with each passing year.