This Thursday and Friday, WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities and the World Bank will host Transforming Transportation, a two-day conference convening leading experts on transit and urban development. This year’s theme is “Sustainable Mobility for All.” For more information, including registration and how to tune in via live webcast, visit

On this episode of the WRI Podcast, Lawrence MacDonald sits down with Ani Dasgupta, global director of WRI Ross Center for Sustainable Cities.

Crucial groundwork must be laid today for successful urban development tomorrow. By 2050, roughly 70 percent of the world’s population will live in cities, an influx of 2.5 billion people. Without proper preparation and investments in infrastructure, transportation and services, this population influx will strain cities’ abilities to provide for people and operate efficiently.

Dasgupta highlights two recent developments that shed light on how city leaders can tackle these challenges.

The recent Habitat III conference in Quito, Ecuador, brought together leaders from around the world to discuss housing and sustainable urban development. World leaders ultimately agreed on a New Urban Agenda, which will set a course for the next two decades of urban development.

Dasgupta also previews the World Resources Report (WRR), which focuses on how to make cities more equitable and sustainable places to live. Moving developing cities away from car-centric roads, investing in services for the poor, and the interconnection between environment and economy stand out as central conclusions. Preliminary findings suggest that if decision-makers view climate change, economic productivity and quality of life as interconnected urban challenges, they’ll ultimately create more sustainable cities that work better for all citizens.

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