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IAP – IANAS Webinar on the Future of Cities

The rate of world population growth is slowing, and is projected to fall to replacement rate by about 2070. However, the current rate of population growth and urban migration will still add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050. This will require the equivalent of 110 new cities, each with over 20 million inhabitants (approximately the size of Mexico City today); most of which will be in Asia and Africa. As a result, material consumption by the world’s cities will grow from 40 billion tonnes/year in 2010 to about 90 billion tonnes/year by 2050. This includes the materials used in the construction and operation of cities and to support urban lifestyles, such as coal, oil and gas, sand and cement, tar, aggregate and steel, chemicals, plastics, wood and water and food. This is likely to exceed available resource flows, and will make it impossible to achieve CO2 emission reduction goals. It is therefore now essential to develop a new and far more efficient model of urban development and living in order to contain resource consumption and CO2 emissions.

However, cities also offer the greatest opportunities to move the world to a more sustainable development trajectory. Cities provide densely populated spaces for economically viable and resource-efficient energy, food, water and transport systems. They are the main hubs for innovations in communications, education, and business. Cities can sustain the educational and training institutions needed to foster innovative capacity and new models of work and business development.

So the focus of this webinar is whether cities can adapt and evolve to accommodate the population increase; delivering the new models of urban living required to deliver far higher levels of energy and resource efficiency, minimize environmental impacts, generate employment opportunities and encourage social integration and cohesion. Will it be possible, for example, to make cities into drivers of sustainable change by utilizing smart systems for housing, transport, food, water, waste, sanitation, work and living and ensuring significantly greater resilience to pandemics, natural and man-made disasters?

The four speakers in the webinar are all thought-leaders, and actively involved in developing the urban systems of the future.

  • Dr Jo Ivey Boufford, MD is the Clinical Professor of Global Health at the New York University School of Global Public Health, Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine, and Chair of the Board of the International Society for Urban Health. She has a very distinguished career at the highest levels in both medicine and public service. She will be talking about Future Cities, Health and Pandemic resilience.
  • Tanya Bedward is the Senior Director of Transport Policy in the Ministry of Transport and Mining of the Government of Jamaica, and a Director of the Toll Authority and the Airports Authority of Jamaica. Tanya is leading the development of a new approach to transport policy in Jamaica. She will be speaking on the Future of transport and the implications for urban development.
  • Dr Walter Wehrmeyer is Reader in Environmental Business Management at the Centre for Environment and Sustainability at the University of Surrey. He is one of the most respected thought-leaders in foresighting, sustainable business and the future of work and employment. He will be speaking about the future of work and the implications for urban development.
  • Heather Pinnock is the Group General Manager of the Urban Development Corporation of Jamaica. She directs the transformation of towns and urban centres and the construction of public infrastructure in Jamaica, and leads the development of new patterns of urban settlement and townships. Recently she commissioned a major study on the construction of Jamaica’s next city, which will be designed to be a city fit for the future.

Read full report here…

Watch the full webinar here…

 

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