Welcome to the Anthropocene, an era built on centuries of economic growth, In the 50 years before this new age, the human economic footprint grew faster in terms of GDP than at any time in recorded history. By the year 2100, it could grow to Bigfoot proportions, severely straining the global commons we all depend upon. Now it's time to tame Bigfoot. Andrew Steer explains.
Leaders from 167 countries today adopted the New Urban Agenda, the blueprint for creating sustainable, livable cities around the world. Following is a statement from Ani Dasupta, Global Director, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities:
Rapidly growing cities are finding it increasingly difficult to provide their residents with core services, like housing, water, energy and transportation — a challenge that is exacerbated as the share of poor people living in urban areas grows. New research from the World Resources Institute finds that in most cities in the Global South, more than 70 percent of residents lack reliable access to basic services like livable, well-located housing; clean water; sustainable energy; and accessible and affordable transportation. The World Resources Report: Towards a More Equal City examines whether prioritizing access to core urban services will create cities that are prosperous and sustainable for all people.
Framing the Challenges and Opportunities
Cities are growing differently today than before. As much as 70 percent of people in emerging cities in Asia, Africa and Latin America is under-served. Furthermore, cities face challenges in four areas:
- Highest rates of urbanization are in sub-Saharan Africa, South and Southeast ...
Making transport sustainable for all city residents is a prominent part of the New Urban Agenda, the outcome document of the Habitat III conference. Making that vision a reality presents challenges to city leaders who struggle to address the immediate need to move people from homes to jobs with limited resources.
A good home gives families a base to build the foundations of society, but in urbanizing areas, good housing can be difficult to find. People like Jussara and her family in Porte Alegre, Brazil, face a trio of critical challenges to locating affordable housing that apply in many growing cities worldwide.
Once every 20 years, the world's urban leaders gather to determine the best course of action for the world's cities. This year, at Habitat III, the 21st century challenges for cities are clear. WRI's World Resources Report examines whether providing equitable access to services can make cities more economically productive and environmentally sustainable.
WRI is engaging in Habitat III -- the United Nations Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in Quito, Ecuador, October 17-20 -- to help create the sustainable, equitable, prosperous cities of the future. Ani Dasgupta, Global Director of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities, answers key questions to explain what's at stake.
Hundreds of cities are starting to get serious about curbing climate change. Fast-growing Chengdu, China, is putting evidence-based low-carbon planning into action.