The publication highlights that the COVID-19 pandemic has shown that different cities have different capacities to cope with crises. Both the pandemic and the economic crisis caused by lockdown measures have disproportionally affected different cities as well as different groups of the population; the most vulnerable groups of society have suffered most.
Cities possess massive resources, talent and creativity and serve as hubs for knowledge sharing, experimentation and innovation, generating new ideas, embedding these solutions locally and scaling-up successful practices. Cities,
however, are not abstract sustainability-making machines; they are places where real people live, work, study and flourish. Cities are made of people, by people and for people. Sustainable measures will have to make sense to inhabitants of cities, making their life more liveable. Furthermore, it is people who drive sustainability and who are its ultimate source and beneficiaries. This vision underpins the notion of people-smart sustainable cities, introduced in this publication.