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The decisions that national leaders, local officials, developers, and planners make today will determine how billions of urbanites will live over the next century. Already, half the global population resides in cities. That figure is set to increase to 70 percent by 2050.

Traditional models of city development can hinder economic growth, spur greenhouse gas emissions, and endanger lives. Compact, efficient cities can alleviate poverty, combat climate change, and make services like water, energy, and transport more accessible.

WRI aims to ensure that cities drive economic opportunity while sustaining natural resources and improving quality of life. Through our WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, we use technical expertise, cutting-edge research, and on-the-ground partnerships to design solutions that enable sustainable city growth.

Our analysis and tools allow cities to effectively manage their natural resources and reduce their greenhouse gas emissions while improving quality of life. Working across our EMBARQ Network for sustainable urban transport and other programs, we develop and support implementation of research-based solutions that reduce pollution, improve health, and create safe, accessible public spaces in cities.

We collaborate with local and national decision-makers in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, and Turkey to implement projects that overcome the challenges of urbanization and make for greater cities. And we partner with businesses, governments, and civil society to scale our successful pilot projects globally.

Publications & Resources

Bonnie Lu

Training Coordinator

Bonnie Lu is the coordinator for training program of Cities and Transport program in China. She also involves in budgeting and admin support.

At the same time she works as a part time...

Climate Action: Reduce Risk, Maximize Opportunities

A new report delivers a simple, but powerful message: economic growth and climate action can be achieved together. Drawing on new evidence and hundreds of real-world examples, it focuses on opportunities to shift three key economic systems: energy, land use, and cities.

Wei Li

Transport Intern, Health and Road Safety

Wei Li is a transport intern of the Health and Road Safety Program of EMBARQ. He works to update EMBARQ’s Saving Lives Report and several publications. He also helps with research on Crash...

Claire Shea

Health and Transport Policy Intern

Claire is the Health and Transport Policy Intern for the Cities & Transport program. She researches the impact of air quality on health and development, as well as the built environment’s...

Analyzing Outcomes from the UN Climate Summit

The UN Climate Summit brought together more than 125 heads of state and government officials—the largest-ever climate meeting of world leaders. Leaders clearly demonstrated their understanding that the impacts of climate change are real and costly, and that they no longer have to choose between economic growth and climate action—they go hand-in-hand.

WRI’s experts were in New York for all the action. While the outcomes from the Summit are still evolving, here’s our first look at progress made and next steps.

Transport Sector Key to Closing the World’s Emissions Gap

Next week at the UN Climate Summit in New York City, leaders from business, national government, and cities will convene to discuss bold actions to address climate change in various sectors, including transport.

And while climate change is an international challenge, climate action in the transport sector is proven to create significant and immediate development benefits at the national and local levels.

How Cities Can Save Trillions, Curb Climate Change, and Improve Public Health

A new report, Better Growth, Better Climate, finds that there are several actions city leaders can take that can reduce emissions while driving economic growth.

The report finds that connected, compact cities could save $3 trillion in infrastructure investments over the next 15 years. Not only that, but they can also curb global climate change and yield immediate local benefits for air quality, health, and quality of life.

By the Numbers: The New Climate Economy

How should politicians prioritize between robust economic growth and solving the problem of climate change?

A new report reveals an encouraging answer: There’s no need to choose. Better Growth, Better Climate, finds that low-carbon investments—if done right—could cost about the same as conventional infrastructure, but would deliver significantly greater economic, social, and environmental benefits in the long-run.

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