53rd International
 Making Cities Livable Conference

Pontificia Università Urbaniana, Vatican City / Rome, Italy

We must make our cities healthy, just and sustainable for all humans and for the earth. We must do this NOW. We can wait no longer. We must adopt wiser strategies and practices– in planning, urban design, architecture, transportation planning – that lead to genuine social, environmental and economic sustainability, a healthy environment for humans and for the earth.

53rd International Making Cities Livable Conference on "Caring for our common home: sustainable, just cities & settlements 

At this conference, we will share knowledge of the effects of the built environment on the health of humans and the earth; foster interdisciplinary collaboration on real sustainable and equitable practices; and define a universal charter (or road map) for the improvement of the anthropized environment.

Around the world, we have invested in an urban development model that uses more non-renewable energy than almost any other human activity, and this is causing untold damage to our environment. Modern city-making is creating unsustainable social structures, and great social inequity.

Until now, we have too readily accepted the argument that first priority must be to grow the economy, and construction is the fastest way to do this. However, the longed for trickle-down effect does not happen and we are faced with ever greater inequity, and an ever more devastated ecosystem that is causing climate change.

If we do not change the way we plan and construct our cities, the social inequity we are fomenting is likely to cause a "precipitous collapse" of the global industrial civilization, according to a NASA-funded study, a collapse that cannot be avoided by improved technological efficiency. Even the World Bank President, Jim Yong Kim, warned that a failure to tackle inequality risked huge social unrest. 

The UN, as well as Pope Francis’s wise and visionary encyclical, Laudato Si', and the Islamic Climate Change Declaration  urge the world to take action NOW to combat climate change and social inequity.

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