Making Tomorrow’s Cities Cleaner, Safer and Happier

As populations increasingly move to cities, we have the unique opportunity to help tackle some of the world’s toughest challenges and deliver innovative, sustainable solutions for future cities and communities.

By aligning ourselves with the UN Sustainable Development Goals and balancing equity, environment and economics, Jacobs is committed to using a holistic approach to make cities better and smarter, and we are investing in research to identify how cities can benefit wellbeing, mental health and sustainable development.

Surprisingly, wellbeing levels associated with access to green spaces and medical services are similar between urban and rural residents. Of all the assessed factors, access to green space is shown to have the largest impact on wellbeing in urban areas, over twice as much as safety. For those living in cities, access to green space links to an approximate 15% increase in wellbeing and a monetary value of £6,600 per person per year. However, in rural areas some wellbeing aspects currently outperform cities such as safety and cleaner environments, highlighting key areas for improvement in cities.

These results show that environmental research and balanced economic and social intelligence are needed to design truly sustainable solutions which create genuine partnerships, provide profitability and, most importantly, preserve our natural resources and environment to sustain life. 

For example, our supply of water is finite and around the world, around 844 million people lack drinking water (World Health Organization). This major humanitarian crisis requires a global response and integrated, smart and sustainable infrastructure solutions to help future generations thrive.


The Thames Tideway Tunnel

We’re helping Thames Water and Tideway (Bazalgette Tunnel Limited) to build a new super sewer deep under the River Thames in London, U.K. This environmentally exceptional engineering project will install a sewerage system fit for a population of approximately 9 million and make the River Thames healthier.


Tuas Water Reclamation Plant Project

The Tuas Water Reclamation Plant in Singapore will clean and reuse every drop of used water to meet the country’s needs while minimizing energy and footprint as much as possible. We’re leading the detailed design of this major engineering feat for PUB, Singapore’s National Water Agency – its initial phase will treat 800,000 m3 of used water per day and give citizens access to clean water and sanitation for generations to come.  

We’re proud to be making cities some of the cleanest, safest and happiest places to live and work on our planet. To achieve this, we must build key relationships with city governments and public and private stakeholders and use the UN Sustainable Development Goals to guide the development of Jacobs’ global sustainability approach, PlanBeyond which looks at planning beyond today for a sustainable future for everyone. Only by implementing more inclusive change and challenging notions about how we live can we design solutions that provide long term environmental, economic and social equity benefits, and create our sustainable, future cities of tomorrow.