Stockholm Chamber of Commerce arranged a breakfast seminar today in Sollentuna (in conjunction with the Board Meeting of the local section of the Chamber of Commerce in Sollentuna/Kista) with their managing director Maria Ranka. Maria's topic of the day was the global trend of urbanization and the importance of growth in cities to drive growth for entire countries.
Maria showed several examples on urbanization and the creation of huge cities around the globe. That trend is most likely un-stoppable, and most likely not even something that we would like to stop. There are good reasons to believe that there are positive effects both socially and environmentally with urbanization. Nevertheless, both urbanization and economic growth are very often questioned from the sustainability perspective. Maria's message is that if we manage the trend of urbanization correctly, there is no doubt that the positive effects are greater than the negative effects. If we look on the ecological footprint per capita it is clear that cities have smaller footprint than the country-side. But we need to secure that long-term investment strategies when it comes to infrastructure, public transportation, building of residencial houses and commercial facilities etc. are developed intelligently!
I really liked the discussion, and it is crucial for the future. The trend of urbanization will not stop and hence we need to understand and manage the trend in order to utilize all the great possibilities we see. I also believe that financial growth is extremely important, and hence also needs to be done in a sustainable way (which actually is the basis for sustainable development...).
After Maria's discussion we continued with a Board meeting with the Sollentuna/Kista section of the Chamber. I have been part of the Boeard for a few years and have realized that this work is very positive when it comes to secure sustainable development. Enterprises are part of the solution on sustainability, we are not the problem!