Sustainable Cities and Communities
Urbanization is a global phenomenon: while in the middle of the 20th century, 30 percent of people lived in the urban centers of the world, this figure has now risen to more than 50 per-cent. It would seem that there are no limits as regards growth of the planet's conurbations. There are already more than 30 megacities in the world, each with a population of more than 10 million. It has been predicted that 60 percent of the world’s populations will live in cities by 2030 (source: UN, The World’s Cities in 2016). This will bring with it enormous social and economic challenges.
For example, to city planning and infrastructure. In terms of sustainable development, it will be important to build energy- and climate-efficient structures. Cities take up just two percent of the world's land area but are responsible for 75 percent of global energy consumption and about 85 percent of greenhouse gas emissions (source: www.koerber-stiftung.de). Because of this, new insulation materials are needed to reduce energy consumption for heating and cooling. New mobility concepts are becoming the focus of more and more strata of the popu-lation as are effective protection and improved wear resistance of existing buildings and infra-structures.
In all industries, companies have a key role in shaping livable, sustainable cities. There is de-mand for products and services for inexpensive, high-quality construction. New ideas are also needed for supply and disposal, traffic infrastructure, and noise mitigation.
In the area of building protection, silanes give buildings and heritage-listed facades a level of durability that was inconceivable in the past. Over the entire life cycle, this saves considerable resources for maintaining buildings, bridges, and other structures. The anti-graffiti effect goes one step further in ensuring long-term protection of private and public properties.
Durable, recyclable noise barriers made from PLEXIGLAS® help considerably improve the quality of life in urban areas. Process additives for what is known as “whispering asphalt” also make a significant contribution to noise mitigation.
Good transport infrastructure is not only an economically important factor. It also improves safety. According to the World Health Organization, half of all road deaths worldwide involve pedestrians and cyclists. With binders and additives for modern road markings, Evonik helps make roads safer – especially at night and when roads are wet. And when energy-saving LEDs are used in streetlights, special plastic lenses from Evonik ensure that the light is di-rected to where it is needed.
Supply and disposal
Waste incineration plants and coal-fired power stations dispose of our waste and supply us with energy. The accumulating heavy metals have to be removed from the wastewater of the wet scrubbing process. With a special precipitating agent from Evonik, this is possible even with mercury. Hydrogen peroxide is needed as a bleach in wastepaper recycling and can also be used to eliminate odors in sewage treatment plants.
Polyurethane additives improve building insulation as do high-performance insulation materi-als based on silica, a non-flammable material that can also be very easily recycled. Double and triple glazing with polybutadiene sealants improves insulation of houses. Construction material additives, such as in dry mortar, ensure a good room climate and make construction materials easier to process.