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  • Writer's pictureDavid Thibodeau

SDG #9 Industry, Innovation & Infrastructure

Building resilient and accessible infrastructure is Sustainable Development Goal 9. Sport infrastructure is essential to a community. Recreation centres and parks create community spaces that allow for people to come together and play together. COVID-19 has limited our ability to engage in sport and recreation for many months, but this has highlighted the need for more informal recreation spaces, such as parks, bike lanes and paths. This type of infrastructure is much needed for people to keep social distancing and stay active when space in gyms, pools and other indoor sport infrastructure have limited capacity.

Target 9.1 is to Develop quality, reliable, sustainable and resilient infrastructure, including regional and transborder infrastructure, to support economic development and human well-being, with a focus on affordable and equitable access for all. Urban planning is essential for effective infrastructure. Increasing bike lanes and paths throughout cities allows for a more active lifestyle for residents. By increasing bike lanes, we can make our cities more accessible. This will make parks and other community infrastructure more accessible to everyone. Urban planning needs to consider how to make sport more accessible to everyone.

Another target of Goal 9 that sport can contribute to is 9.2: Increase the access of small-scale industrial and other enterprises, in particular in developing countries, to financial services, including affordable credit, and their integration into value chains and markets. Governments can set up micro-crediting programs to help entrepreneurs start small businesses. Increasing investments in small businesses will help restart the economy in our build back better recovery. Local sport businesses are an important part of our community and are an opportunity for growing small businesses across Canada and around the world. A focus should be placed on social enterprises. Improving access to crediting for small and medium sized businesses can help improve social welfare and boost national productivity.

Sport infrastructure needs to be maintained and updated to become energy efficient, and sustainable. All new infrastructure should be built with sustainability in mind and how we can make our communities stronger through urban planning. Urban planning and infrastructure go hand in hand. By effectively planning our cities and towns we can make our citizens healthier and happier.

City infrastructure needs to work for humans. Our city infrastructure should focus on how to get people around in the most efficient ways possible. Right now, many North American Cities are fighting urban sprawl. Most people work in offices in city centres, but live in suburbs. These people have to commute to work everyday. They often live too far to walk or bike to work. Many European cities on the other hand have residences throughout the cities, rather than on the outskirts. City planners need to make more residential units in city centres in North America and focus, thus making city infrastructure more cohesive with walking and biking.

Part of the build back better strategies should incorporate making cities more livable for people, rather than cars.


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