Urban action, global change
By Brian Swett
December 1, 2015
In 1800, less than 5% of the world’s population lived in urban areas; by 2050, this figure will hit 70%. As more and more people turn to urban ecosystems to meet their needs — burning more and more carbon in the process — the future of humanity depends largely on getting cities right.
During September’s Climate Week NYC, I invited colleagues in the cities field to gather for discussion in Arup’s Lower Manhattan office. This year has presented tremendously exciting opportunities for each of us. With C40 marking its 10th anniversary and urban leaders playing a significant role at COP21, cities are now recognized as critical actors in the struggle against climate change. Their innovative solutions for both mitigation and adaptation have inspired meaningful progress at the national and international levels.
But there’s little time for self-congratulation. Over the next decade, the world’s collective decisions about infrastructure and capital allocations will determine the planet’s trajectory for the foreseeable future. Urban leaders increasingly understand that they must continue to push for better solutions and work together to implement them on a broad scale.
The video below presents high-level thoughts on the relationship between cities and climate change captured during the September meeting.
Follow the links below to learn more about the speakers and the organizations they support.
Katherine Gajewski, Director of Sustainability, City of Philadelphia
Nick Godfrey, Head of Policy and Urban Development, New Climate Economy
Paula Kirk; Associate Director; Cities & Climate Change Consulting; Arup UK, Middle East, and Africa region
Mark Watts, Executive Director, C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group
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