Human Cities initiative

Our cities are growing. Estimates suggest that by 2050 – when the world’s population will reach nine billion – around 70 percent of people will live in cities. One of the biggest challenges of our age is to ensure that urban areas can cope with the demands that this will create.

In order to respond to the rapid urbanization that is taking place, AkzoNobel launched its Human Cities initiative in June 2014. Based on six key pillars, it’s designed to help urban areas become more inspiring, energizing and vibrant for people across the world. We want to go beyond the purely functional or technological aspects and help cities and the people who live there to connect on an emotional level. Or put another way, we want to help cities become more human.

The six pillars we have identified are color, heritage, transport, education, sport and leisure, and sustainability. They build on the fact that around 60 percent of our revenue is connected to cities, reflecting the positive contribution we can make to urban areas across the world.

Our determination to help cities meet the challenges they face was underlined in September when we made a commitment at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting in New York. Designed in collaboration with The Rockefeller Foundation’s 100 Resilient Cities program, our commitment includes developing an urban resilience guide for cities and staging special projects in four of the cities involved in the 100 Resilient Cities program.

Ultimately, Human Cities is about making cities more inspiring and enjoyable places to live. By partnering with influential global organizations such as The Rockefeller Foundation, we’re underlining our serious commitment to working with partners across the world to tackle the many challenges being faced by some of the biggest urban areas.