Environment or growth? There is a third way: sustainable development!

The entire world over, young people came out and filled the streets on Friday 15 March for Fridays for Future. Motivated by the young Greta Thunberg, they demonstrated to “save the planet”. On Monday 18, the sociologist Ilvo Diamanti published a survey with data obtained from a report from the European Observatory on Safety published in January 2019. Diamanti concentrated on data that help to answer the clear cut question: should protection of the environment have priority to the detriment of economic growth, or should economic growth have priority “even though the environment may suffer in part?”

67% were in favour of the environment, against 25% on the side of growth and 8% who were undecided or did not answer. The percentage in favour of the environment grows if the youngest age groups are considered. It reaches 73% in the 25-34 year age group and rises to 83% in the very young age group between 15 and 24 years old.

Public demonstrations and surveys therefore show an ever stronger and better informed sensitivity to the environment. But we need to ask ourselves: is it true that the alternative is between the environment and growth, and which of the two horns of the dilemma must succumb? Might sustainable development not be the terrain on which the environment and well-being can be reconciled?

It is a highly demanding effort, but one to which industry, research and politics must commit themselves along the three themes of sustainability: environmental, social and economic.

In the context of the new “urban designs” imposed by the digital revolution, transport and mobility are decisive factors for a sustainable vision. Cities are, in fact, experiencing epoch-making changes. In 30 years’ time, 80% of the Italian population will live in a city and according to the World Bank, 75% of the infrastructure which will exist at that time has yet to be built; 75% of traffic occurs near and within urban areas.

More efficient and sustainable urban logistics, transformations in mobility and in the work, living, entertainment and social functions of the new cities are the theme at the heart of the City & Logistics section of Green Logistics Expo. Together with companies and experts, this will tackle the themes of retailing for the onlife citizen and in general of orders, deliveries, returns, transport, mobility and services in urban and metropolitan areas and governance models for complex organisations.

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