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Sustainable Development Assignment: How Is London Becoming More Sustainable?


Task: Assignment : Towards a Sustainable Future
In this module, we have undertaken a broad sweep across a number of topics that are of importance to the sustainable development debate. We have noted that although the concept lends itself to differing interpretations, yet it is recognised that the idea has made us think about the way we carry out our activities. We are now aware that we need to be “living within the limits of the planet” but significant efforts will be required to achieve such an objective.

This assignment gives you the opportunity to explore a specific issue of your choice affecting sustainable development. You could consider ways to create a sustainable future, strategies required to achieve sustainable development in a given context (e.g. city, region, country, business, etc.), barriers to achieving sustainable development objectives, progress made so far and innovative ways of promoting sustainable development. You are asked to undertake a thorough analysis of a topic of your choice to demonstrate your understanding of the problem and your appreciation of the subject. Your task is to write an academic paper not exceeding 2500 words (excluding abstract, footnotes and references).

Indicative research topics for Assignment
This is an indicative list and the suggested topics cover a broad range of issues. This is for guidance only. There is no expectation that you have to consider all issues indicated under a topic. You have to develop your own questions – do not follow the questions indicated below blindly. a) Progress with the SDGs – Almost four years have passed since the SDGs were launched. Has any progress been made in implementing the SDGs? How are different regions and countries performing and what lessons are emerging to take the agenda forward? b) Sustainable cities: As the world is urbanising rapidly, a special attention on sustainable urban areas is essential to support the objectives of sustainable development. How are cities doing in terms of sustainability? Are their strategies and plans well aligned to deliver the SDG targets? c) Deep decarbonisation and Sustainable development: The Paris Agreement has called for accelerated global emissions reduction to fight the climate challenge. How will deep decarbonisation options influence sustainable development at the national or global level? d) Circular economy for sustainable development: The concept of circular economy is catching attention of industries and service providers. How is this concept being used practice and what lessons can be learnt by others? e) Economic growth and sustainable development Economic growth has a profound effect on climate change and sustainable development. Is economic growth compatible with the idea of sustainable development and can there be development without growth? f) Shaping the sustainable energy future of a country. Many variations of this topic are possible. A holistic picture with possible actions to be taken to achieve such a goal comes at one end. The risks and challenges for such an objective can also be considered as a separate category of work. Similarly, the specific dimensions of the problem such as environment, climate change, poverty, finance, etc. can also be considered as other potential topics. Finally, it is also possible to analyse the plans of a given country to see to what extent they are likely to achieve the sustainability targets. Examples could include: Will renewable energies make the poor worse off? How will the energy sector evolve by 2030 to support the sustainable development agenda? g) Sustainability strategies As sustainable development targets and action plans start rolling out, it is important to analyse country strategies, targets and policies. Similarly, firms and organisations are developing their strategies to meet the future challenge. A careful analysis using a coherent framework can be a good research activity. A comparative analysis of two or more cases can also provide interesting insights. h) Governance and implementation: How important are institutions in shaping the implementation of sustainable development? Are the existing arrangements fit for purpose? How can the governance challenge be addressed? Are global institutions fit for purpose?


The present report on sustainable development assignment deals with the impact of sustainable development strategies on London. The leaders around the world, be it CEOs or statesmen are concerned with making the future more and more sustainable. People, who care for the earth as the environment, are talking about this kind of a future for years. They are still trying to sell their “vision of the future” to everybody and anybody who would listen and also to people in positions of power. It is a big vision of the future, but the idea of what it looks like is drenched with ambiguity (Bina, 2017). Needs of people, groups and individuals vary drastically concerning demographic and geographic factors? What leads to more complications, are the facts that people are not even sure what to call this ‘sustainable future’ that they are hoping to achieve. To fight this, it becomes immensely necessary to look at sustainability from differing angles to accurately envision the present and with the help of it, even the future. According to many environmentalists, three significant impediments to this sustainable future are: nuclear power, dropped coal and petrol (Ojala, 2019).

The contextual discussion within this sustainable development assignment is done on the basis of secondary research methodologies that encompasses on sustainable development strategies, impact and methodologies. There are two key elements which have been highlighted particularly and those were intergenerational and intrageneral equity. The first one aims at preserving natural resources for the future generations and the second one focuses on decreasing the differences among people in the allocation and mobilization of resources. There is also a third element as mentioned in the sustainable development assignment which takes care of the future generation by planning a proper path to development. There are some methods to be followed in order to bring about sustainable development.

  1. Firstly, sustainable development could be achieved by improving the education and healthcare facilities to make the income higher as well as to make better decisions on environment.
  2. The energy systems need to be decarbonized by 2050 to reduce the emissions of greenhouse gases so that more and more energy and resources get saved for future. This has been started by London and today it been ranked as the most sustainable city in the world (Clammer, 2019).
  3. Nutritional food and clean water need to be provided to protect the food chain, oceans and, the biosphere.
  4. Our housing settlements have to be converted to smart and decent housing settlements by improving the infrastructure and providing high connectivity to benefit the environment and population of the whole world.
  5. Sustainable development can be achieved by a digital revolution which means that it has be strongly supported by innovation, technology and science (Benavotal, 2016).

A global interdisciplinary research initiative has been taken with the purpose to improve and develop the path to sustainable development. The World in 2050(TWI2050) project has also been initiated to recognize the proper ways to promote a sustainable future. This is actually a partnership of 60 international, academic and, non-governmental science and policy institutions which have been under the guidance of Professor J. Sachs (Columbia University), Professor N. Nakicenovic (IIASA) and Professor J. Rockstrom (Stockholm Resilience Centre).

The 2030 agenda of sustainable development goals were adopted by the member states of the United Nations in 2015. As per the research on sustainable development assignment, every year, the SDGs are updated by the United Nations for review. Areas of progress and action get highlighted, which is an assurance that no one falls behind. Four years since its adoption progress has been registered in some sectors. These include mass immunization, falling rates of child mortality and reduction of poverty (, 2016). There should be urgent attention provided to rising inequality. There exist more poor people in villages when compared to cities (, 2016).

 Unemployment among younger populations is more pronounced when compared to adult groups. The year 2018 was a very warm year with increasing levels of Carbon dioxide. Violent problems across the world have led to the reduction in rates of deceleration of poverty. Global hunger which was thought to be near about dead is seeing a rise owing to humanitarian crises around the world (Clammer, 2019).

 Despite the many threats as mentioned in the context of sustainable development assignment, opportunities keep propping up which leverage interlinking across various goals.

  • The purpose of the Greater London Authority (GLA) discussed herein sustainable development assignment is to deliver activities to create and enable sustainable development and the organization which gives funds for this is the European Social Fund. Similarly, all the providers and sub providers are also required to give the assurance regarding the payments and funds. It has to be ensured that the activities delivered get funded through a programme called GLA CFO 2014-20 ESF.
  • It has to be confirmed to the GLA CFO that the organizations which play a major role in delivering GLA 2014-20 ESF programme will perform certain things: a) will dispose its waste with the help of a collector that is registered. b) will follow and abide by the rules and regulations of the Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) with the aim to decrease the overall utility consumption.
  • A sustainable development policy and proper planning for implementation will be provided by the GLA CFO ESF 2014-20 Programme which is actually requested by the GLA for all the proposals and agreements to be granted.

As half of the people in the world live in cities nowadays, two-thirds of the population which is around 6.5 billion will have the opportunity to live in urban settlements by 2050. Sustainable development can be obtained if the urban spaces can be managed and built efficiently (Tzanelli, 2020). The case scenario of sustainable development assignment signifies that the common challenges faced by the cities are degradation of the environment, congestion in traffic, the inadequate infrastructure of urban settlement, and last but not the least, lack of essential services, like a supply of water, proper sanitation, and waste management.  Having there been a drastic growth of cities due to rising population and increasing migration, the number of megacities and slums has increased in the developing world so much that they have been essential parts of urban life today. Cities become sustainable when there are great opportunities in business and career, safe and pocket-friendly housing patterns and, construction of societies and economies. Although just 3% of the world's land comprises of cities, the consumption of energy and carbon emissions from the cities is much more as compared to the land occupied by the cities (Strengers, 2018). Cities being platforms for culture, science, social development, ideas, commerce and productivity, the people living in the cities are more socially and economically advanced as compared to the people living in the rural areas or villages. The most common urban challenges faced by people mentioned in this segment of sustainable development assignment are congestion, inadequate funds to meet the basic necessities, a lack of sufficient housing facilities, underdeveloped infrastructure, and increasing pollution in the urban areas (, 2019). The challenges brought by urbanization can only be met only by reducing pollution and poverty and enabling proper use of resources.  A rising waste collection in the municipality is an example of this. The future needs to be improved when cities will be able to provide opportunities to all ensuring that we get proper access to the necessities of life like energy, housing and transportation etcetera.

Although London is ranked as the most sustainable city in the world and standing ahead of all its competitors all over the world,it has been warned by the experts continuously that London will not be able to remain at the summit until and unless any investment is done in its road traffic or infrastructure. London is in the second position in profit maximization among all the countries in the world. Recently Singapore managed to beat London and has been ranked first in profit maximization. London being one of the greenest capitals in the world, it is doing the best business easily and has the best tourist attractions among all other capitals in the world. It has been ranked 11th for having a sustainable environment.

The sustainable development assignment clarifies that the plans to decrease emissions of carbon have been submitted by over 150 governments of the world at the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) held in Paris. Many questions are raised by the observers regarding the depth of these reductions. The more important question that came to the minds of the observers was whether the chosen path of 2030 would reduce emissions of Greenhouse gases or not (Erikson, 2019). The climate can be stabilized only if the energy systems get decarbonizes, and there will be no emissions of greenhouse gases by 2070 according to the scientific consensus. The G-7 has already started working with the purpose to create decarburization as it realized that this is the most effective way to prevent disastrous climatic changes. They have mentioned this intention take this path to reduce carbon emissions in the world. Although the countries which were present at COP21 have not yet started executing decarburization they are planning to take better steps by 2025 to 2030 (Torgerson,2018).These measures are collectively known as Intended Nationally Determined Contributions commonly abbreviated as INDCs. With more than 50 INDCs been submitted, contributing to its achievement, most of the observers are asking regarding the effectiveness of these commitments to reduce global warming in the world below 2-degree Celsius. If the countries start taking measures to reduce the emissions in the short term, they will end up leading to high-level emissions after 2030. It has been found herein sustainable development assignment that there are usually two paths to 2030. On the one hand, the first path is known as "deep carbonization" which means taking deeper steps after 2030 to reduce the emissions (Ringel, 2019). On the other, the second path is called "low-hanging fruit" which is a term used to represent easier ways to reduce carbon emissions very quickly. The easiest way to eliminate carbon emissions in 2030 is by completely transforming the coal-fired power plants to gas-fired power plants. Bringing deep carbonization does not only require fuel-efficient vehicles and natural gas, but it also needs fully charged electric vehicles and zero-carbon electricity.

The aim of the circular economy mentioned herein sustainable development assignment is to change the paradigm of society at all stages of the economy by ensuring that the resources are not wasted or misused (Morrison, 2019). In order to achieve high profitability and sustainability, the Circular Economy is using the Social Impulse Level for further innovation. The experts conduct assessments to obtain proper solutions. There are seven types of patterns of the circular economy. These include:

  • Ecodesign: The term Ecodesign can be defined as the impacts of a product or service that can be reduced on the environment throughout.
  • Recycling: When collected waste materials are recovered and treated properly, it is known as recycling.
  • Sustainable procurement: The process of implementing and developing purchase policy is termed as sustainable procurement.
  • Increasing the duration of consumption: The duration of consumption can be increased by reusing, repairing and repurposing.
  • Responsible consumption: The term Responsible consumption is referred to as the proper choice and consumption of products meeting the ecological and social criteria
  • Territorial and Industrial ecology: Finding out eco-industrial synergies from a business angle or perspective is termed as Territorial and Industrial ecology.
  • Economics of functionality: It is defined as selling services instead of selling

The most important advantage of a circular economy mentioned in this section of sustainable development assignment is that it reduces waste and greenhouse gas emissions, protect the environment and enabling the process of recycling. The circular economy helps reduce the dependence on importing of resources as well. Secondly, the circular economy increases economic growth and encourages innovation. Thirdly, a circular economy helps people save money by creating job and career opportunities by reducing poverty and unemployment (, 2018). There are mainly two kinds of circular economy challenges. One is the institutional challenge, and the other is the economic challenge.

There are some rules and regulations which need to be followed to encourage the development of the circular economy.

The World Alliance promises to provide solutions free of cost by cooperating with the popular institutions and experts. The Solar Impulse Efficient Solutions offer the best solutions and high quality to the innovators. The circular economy is a part of many things, including the economy of functionality, industrial ecology and eco-design.

When there is growth in the economy without any economic problems, it is known as sustainable economic growth. There might be environmental problems and scarcity of resources for future generations due to rapid economic growth. Moreover, as per the investigation on sustainable development assignment, it can also lead to global warming, fish stock and, depletion of oil (Dixon, 2018). If there is an increase in the aggregate demand, there will be growth like increase in customer expenses as well as output. The prices will increase due to more demand if there is no output at all.

It is always seen that long term productivity is more sustainable than short term public debt. Hence, Europe is worried about building up its own debt.

An economy needs to increase its capability to grow for its further growth in future. An economy’s productivity can be represented in a graph by showing an outward shift in the PPF of an economy.

A citizen’s standard of living is determined by the Gross Domestic Product of an economy. The measurement of output produced in most countries, including the UK, is termed as GDP.

Economic growth can lead to an increase in the prices of goods and services, houses as well as wages which means there will be inflation overall. It can also result in labour shortages, reduction in savings, huge credit and difficulties in trade (, 2019).

There are some effects of negative economic growth as well. There will be surpluses of labour, unemployment, debt in the public sector, a decrease in the prices of goods and houses and an excess amount of debt burden due to zero or negative economic growth.

The concept of sustainable development explored in the report of sustainable development assignment is defined as the proper use of resources so that the resources are available for future generations to make sure that they are able to use it. It is essential for economic development due to scarcity of resources. If the resources get destroyed completely, then there will not be any economic development or growth in the country. If we do not follow the principle of sustainable development, then the human lives and lives of different species will be in great danger. For example, rainwater should always be kept stored by rainwater harvesting in case water gets exhausted and completely as we all know that water is an essential resource for each one of us. Sustainable economic growth is possible when quality jobs are available to people without hampering the surrounding environment. The working population needs proper working conditions and great job opportunities. Increase in trade and banking will reduce the levels of unemployment in the world.

It is very important to preserve natural resources today in order to make sure that future generations can use them as well. Thus from the above discussions done on this sustainable development assignment, it can be concluded by saying that the UK has been declared as the most sustainable state in the world. Around 100 cities were ranked globally as the most sustainable cities on grounds of social, environmental and economic aspects among which the UK has been ranked on the top.

Barata, J., da Cunha, P.R. and de Figueiredo, A.D., 2019. Sustainable development assignment Implications for Futures: The Missing Section in Sustainable Information Systems Research.

Benavot, A., Antoninis, M., Barry, M., Bella, N., Blanchy, N.K., Delprato, M. and Zubairi, A., 2016. Education for people and planet: Creating sustainable futures for all. Global Education Monitoring Report.

Bina, O., Verdini, G., Inch, A., Varanda, M., Guevara, M. and Chiles, P., 2017. INTREPID Futures Initiative: Universities and Knowledge for Sustainable Urban Futures: as if inter and trans-disciplinarity mattered, 4th INTREPID Report, COST Action TD1408, 11 May.

Clammer, J., 2019.Advancing Cultural Rights: Holistic Development and Sustainable Futures. Sustainable development assignment In Cultural Rights and Justice (pp. 159-177). Palgrave Macmillan, Singapore.

Dixon, T., Connaughton, J. and Green, S., 2018. Sustainable Futures in the Built Environment to 2050.

Erikson, R., 2019. Sustainable futures. Interaction47(3), p.35.

Knappe, H., Holfelder, A.K., Beer, D.L. and Nanz, P., 2018. The politics of making and un-making (sustainable) futures.

McPhearson, T., Iwaniec, D.M. and Bai, X., 2016.Positive visions for guiding urban transformations toward sustainable futures. Sustainable development assignment Current opinion in environmental sustainability22, pp.33-40.

Morrison, A., Erstad, O., Liestøl, G., Pinfold, N., Snaddon, B., Hemmersam, P. and Grant-Broom, A., 2019.Investigating agentive urban learning: an assembly of situated experiences for sustainable futures. Sustainable development assignment Oxford Review of Education45(2), pp.204-223.

Ojala, M., 2019.Prefiguring sustainable futures: Food activism and anticipation among emerging adults. In Anticipation and Anticipatory Systems: Humans Meet AI, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden, June 10-13, 2019.

lass="assignmentfont">Ringel, F., 2019. Sustainability as orientation: towards sustainable urban futures.

Sandin, G., Roos, S., Spak, B., Zamani, B. and Peters, G., 2019. Environmental assessment of Swedish clothing consumption-six garments, sustainable futures. Sustainable development assignment Mistra Future Fashion report.

Strengers, Y., 2018. Sustainability futures and the future of sustainable HCI.In Digital Technology and Sustainability (Vol. 231, No. 233, pp. 231-233).ROUTLEDGE in association with GSE Research.

Torgerson, D., 2018. Reflexivity and developmental constructs: the case of sustainable futures. Journal of environmental policy & planning20(6), pp.781-791.

Tzanelli, R., 2020. Unpopular Culture: Ecological Dissonance and Sustainable Futures in Media-Induced Tourism. Sustainable development assignment The Journal of Popular Culture52(6), pp.1250-1273

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