Examining the immense scale of the challenge in delivering clean drinking water to everyone in the world.
Jonathan Doyle reports on the challenges facing the United Nations' plans to achieve universal access to safe drinking water around the world, and the progress made so far toward that goal.
The goal, included among 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) adopted by the UN in 2015, is stated as, "Achieving universal access to water sources that are improved, with a round trip for water collection not exceeding 30 minutes, safe from contamination, and available when needed," with a target date of 2030.
The challenge is daunting. According to data cited by Doyle, 785 million around the world did not have access to basic water services in 2017. About 144 million people were collecting water directly from surface water sources in 2017. Finally, at least 2 billion people get their water from a source contaminated by feces.
For signs of progress on the clean water SDG, Doyle points first to the United States, with the Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) approved in 1974 and amended in 1996 (unmentioned are the failures of that law to protect the people of Flint, to cite one conspicuous example). At the international level, Doyle points to work by the United Nations and the World Health Organization. But the most significant achievements are credited to NGOs such as World Vision, which claims to have delivered sustainable, clear water to 20 million people as of 2020. Finally, Doyle credits the private sector with achievements in water filtration technologies that are also providing benefits around the world.
[Disclaimer: the end of the article shifts to content marketing for water filtration systems.].
The Right to Mobility
As we consider how to decarbonize transportation, preserving mobility, especially for lower- and middle-income people, must be a priority.
How Virginia Counties Use Zoning to Stifle Development
Some state legislators are proposing action at the state level as counties block development using zoning and development requirements even as housing prices rise sharply in the region.
The Once-in-a-Generation Opportunity to Remake Downtown
Urban cores around the country were transforming into live, work, and play destinations before the pandemic. The pandemic was a setback for this transformation, but it could also be a rare opportunity. It’s up to city leadership to seize it.
L.A. Times Editorial Board Calls for CEQA Reform
The Board argues that the environmental law, while important, has too often been ‘weaponized’ by NIMBY groups to delay or halt housing development.
Seattle Brings Free Transit to Public Housing
Linking transit programs to housing can lower administrative costs and streamline the process for riders.
Columbus Could Lower Downtown Speed Limits
The city council will vote on a proposal to lower speed limits to 25 miles per hour to improve safety and make downtown more walkable and welcoming to pedestrians.
HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research
Harvard GSD Executive Education
Harvard GSD Executive Education
Sonoma County Transportation Authority
City of Piedmont, CA
City of Morganton
This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.