Sustainable cities: from small rural communities
The paradox of large cities is mostly established. On one hand, a group of people representing a minority enclosed in high luxury houses and apartments. On the other hand, a second group, in part original from cities with up to 50,000 residents and of small rural communities, which set out in search of new employment opportunities and income. Sometimes that dream does not come true for some. Among these, one or more workers, unable to return to the place of origin, are now living under the bridges or in poorly built shacks. Both groups deal with the adversities that come from the negative impacts of the environment, dealing with violence and drugs that plague these towns, candidates to unsustainable.
In the eyes of society, the second group sometimes becomes "invisible", detached from the minimum conditions of human dignity of a sustainable city. As it is, for example, health care, education, sanitation and sewerage. Despite the efforts of many organized society and government policies. However, both groups are vulnerable to these impacts. At times they cannot escape some kind of urban violence, where all things are mingled in a web of causes and effects on the environment common to all. The misunderstanding, that they can find later on, promotes this invisibility. Hence, it is very common to hear "what do 'environment and sustainable cities' have to do with this?"
I ask: Why distance ourselves from this agenda of co-responsibility and commitment? In which extent can setbacks overcome the advances in face of this reality? From my point of view, I stand particularly in Brazil’s context. Allegedly, in face of the observation and experience of everyday life, from the gone by years of the 70's - coinciding with the Stockholm Conference which launched the discussion on the "limits to growth" and the delimitations’ of natural resources in the environment - I believe that: beyond the current healthy favoring of the purchase of housing for low-income population in large cities, the prevention of occupation without criteria also has to be promoted, starting from the care of the extremities. For example, encourage the improvement through the strengthening of small, medium producers and rural entrepreneurs in its contextual basis. To reach to these people, without intermediaries, important and basic information, of how much and when to intervene legally in their surroundings, from its rights and duties, in the case of renewable and nonrenewable resources found in nature. How, where and when to get investment for their rural enterprises which can ensure sustenance for them and their families. Bearing in mind future generations, as well as, not forgetting the present ones. With equity and prosperity for the large, medium and small urban centers and small rural communities. Also making them sustainable in a systemic way.
From this perspective, it has always to be demonstrated the concept of the correlation of all the dimensions of the environment, permeated by climate change and global warming. Transversely measured by the social, ecologic, economic, environmental, cultural, political appeal, among others, in the feeling and actions of people and institutions, engaged and committed with their time, as it happens through the UN Habitat. "
Maria da Penha Mendes Furquim Werneck