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Building better cities for the future

By Pauline Pelous
October 30, 2019

More than half the world’s population now live in urban areas and that figure is expected to grow from 4.4 billion in 2020 to 6.7 billion by 2050, according to the United Nations.

Inevitably, such a dramatic rate of urbanisation is causing challenges linked to climate change, infrastructure and long-term building resilience — all subjects that will be put under the spotlight on October 31, United Nations World Cities Day.

This year the theme is ‘Changing the world: innovations and better life for future generations’ which highlights the importance of ensuring “cities are planned, designed, financed, governed and managed properly to use urbanisation to achieve sustainable development”.

Digital solutions to improve urban resilience

Siân Hughes, Knauf Insulation’s Director of External Affairs, says: “The speed at which urbanisation is transforming the world is causing major challenges for planners, specifiers, policy makers and architects. We are working closely with all our customers to find the solutions that will ensure building resilience for generations to come.”

For example, one of the main goals of World Cities Day 2019, is to increase awareness of how digital innovation can be used to improve the urban environment.

Knauf Energy Solutions, a new company launched earlier this year, combines digital technology, deep understanding of the building performance and highly effective processes to maximise energy-saving building renovation.

Green roofs to make cities more sustainable

Another priority under discussion on World Cities Day is infrastructure and the impact of climate change. Knauf Insulation has been campaigning consistently for more urban green infrastructure as a way to future-proof the built environment.

Our Urbanscape Green Roof solution can also play a role in absorbing CO2 emissions and air pollutants as well as excessive storm-water, taking stress off urban sewerage systems. In addition, green roofs also reduce building heat-island effect where built environments are hotter than surrounding countryside.

Insulation to cut emissions and save energy

One more focus area of World Cities Day is to examine new opportunities for synergies between renewable energy and smarter energy use. In Europe, for example, buildings are responsible for 36% of emissions and 40% of energy consumption.

Clearly reducing use in the first place makes a significant difference to the resilience of urban energy grids. Every solution manufactured by Knauf Insulation is designed to contribute to saving energy in buildings and in the process reduce emissions.

Siân Hughes added: “It has been said that the battle for achieving the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals will be won or lost in cities. At Knauf Insulation we have always been committed to a more sustainable urban environment and ultimately that means making buildings more energy efficient.

“We will continue to campaign for increasing rates of energy-saving renovation worldwide and continue to work with policy makers and planners to make the built environment fit for future generations.”


Visit the United Nations site for more details about World Cities Day.