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Foresight Brief 026

The 26th edition of UNEP’s Foresight Brief explains the ‘build back better’ strategy in the context of urban livelihoods – a strategy, that has to mean ’building back greener’.

The livelihoods of urban residents are shaped by the complex relationship between environmental, social and economic issues affecting inhabitants of urban areas. There is a need for a global reset after the COVID-19 pandemic, which disrupted urban livelihoods, access to services and socioeconomic opportunities and widened inequalities. This requires all stakeholders to clearly see the relationship between environmental, social and economic justice and a forward-looking policy to ‘building back better’ — and greener. Such a strategy requires putting human rights and sustainability at the heart of urban decision-making across the world. It also needs to tackle other important global trends and challenges, such as answering demographic changes, clever use of data and technology, overcoming different forms of inequalities and leading to a re-birth of high quality public services.