Sustainability can be defined as keeping something going through time. Sustainability first appeared in an ecological context in the 1970s alongside the emerging environmental movement (Litke, 2006). There are three E's that define sustainability and they are the environment, economics, and equity. Throughout history, many cities have tried to develop ways to acquire a sustainable city. "A sustainable city enables all its citizens to meet their needs and to enhance their well-being, without degrading the natural world or the lives of other people, now or in the future." Due to a mass increase in populations, social injustice, climate change, and dependence on fossil fuels many cities in history were unable to sustain their cities. Given the dynamic uncertainty of this era, creativity is increasingly essential for the survival of individuals, cultures, and even nature, as complex conflicts arise about the distribution of power and resources across groups, communities, and societies. Cities must "strive to achieve a decent standard of living for all people and live within the limits of natural systems" (Berke & Conroy, 2000). In order to acquire a sustainable city that includes a socially just, economically sound, and ecologically safe future, we need to embrace a holistic approach bolstered by creative thinking. .
In history, cities and towns understood that their present urban lifestyle, in particular, their patterns of division labor and functions, land-use, transport, industrial production, agriculture, consumption, and leisure activities, and hence their standard of living, made them essentially responsible for many environmental problems humankind was facing. Social inequalities also developed as cities urbanized. Development had to be made to sustain global environments and improve their quality of living. .
The Istanbul Declaration of Human Settlement argued that to sustain their global environment they must commit to sustainable patterns of production, consumption, transportation and settlement development; pollution prevention, respect for the carrying capacity of ecosystems; and the preservation of opportunities for future generations.