By 2050 the world population is expected to reach 10 billion people, with 70-80% living in urban areas. At the same time, the availability of natural capital is becoming a limiting factor for sustaining economic activity. Therefore, cities that want to be able to secure thriving lives for all their residents need to find ways to advance wellbeing, within the resource budget of nature. How can cities secure the required physical resources without depleting natural capital? How can they thrive on a limited resource budget? What is the role of cities, both to avoid risks and seize opportunities? If we do not measure what we treasure, we will not be able to manage cities successfully. Cities need better decision tools that take resource availability into account. This presentation explores how cities can track their overarching performance in a world increasingly defined by climate change and resource constraints. It identifies key metrics for understanding risks and for turning every budget decision into an opportunity for advancing lasting well-being. Ultimately, the rapid urbanization trends can become a force for lasting poverty eradication, if managed well.

For more background on Global Footprint Network check out these resources: • A visual introduction to Global Footprint Network: • Watch Mathis Wackernagel’s recent HDI-Footprint TEDx talk. • Learn how Footprint Accounts work in just 2.5 minutes. • If you like maps and time series, compare countries at • To dive a bit deeper, the “Ecological Wealth of Nations” provides more background (with older data): • Our China work also summarizes the core pain points for a transformation – both diagnosis and therapy – in a friendly way. The site is and the report is at