There is no one-size-fits-all strategy for sustainable mobility in cities. As the Index demonstrates, mobility challenges differ from city to city and vary according to geographical, ecological, economic and political factors. In this section, we outline some of the top trends in urban mobility as well as looking to the future to provide food for thought for those responsible for their city’s mobility.
Why do we focus on cities? First, the world is rapidly urbanizing—by 2050, 75% of the world’s population will live in cities. Second, global pressures that play out at a city scale − such as climate change, disease pandemics, economic fluctuations, and terrorism − pose new challenges and uncertainty. Sudden shocks or accumulating stresses in cities can cause significant damage and disruption; in 2011, the cost of natural disasters was estimated at over $380 billion. Because city systems are interconnected, breakdowns can lead to multiple or sequential failure. At worst, this can result in social breakdown, physical collapse, or economic decline.
At the same time that we’re solving for climate change, we’re going to be building cities for three billion people. That’s a doubling of the urban environment. If we don’t get that right, I’m not sure all the climate solutions in the world will save mankind, because so much depends on how we shape our cities: not just environmental impacts, but our social well-being, our economic vitality, our sense of community and connectedness.
For more from Peter Calthorpe and his work designing cities, click here.
Sir David Attenborough (Narrator), Hans Zimmer (Composer)
Planet Earth II, Episode 6, Cities, BBC, 2016
The complexity of urban life favours the clever, but to compete with humanity during daylight hours takes more than just intelligence – it takes nerve. One enterprising species of monkey has moved into the city of Jaipur in India – the Rhesus Macaque. But how to get a share of all this juicy fruit …
Well-established European cities dominate the top of the overall ranking making up 16 of the top 20 positions. They are joined by the advanced Asian cities of Singapore (in second place), Seoul (7th) and Hong Kong (16th) as well as Australia’s capital, Canberra (18th). Cities around the world are living at extremes, not balancing these pillars of sustainability. While taking the lead in some areas, cities often sit lower in one area of sustainability. How can cities do more to ensure that as they develop and implement strategies and policies to address the considerable challenges they face – from environmental to socio-economic – they do so in a way that puts people first and at the forefront of their sustainability?
That survey uncovered an array of discoveries, including elaborate water systems that were built hundreds of years before historians believed the technology existed. The findings are expected to challenge theories on how the Khmer empire developed, dominated the region, and declined around the 15th century, and the role of climate change and water management in that process.
For the first time in 500 years lidar is helping to reveal the lost metropolis of the people who built Angkor Wat … “Some colleagues of mine have described it as, essentially, a scientific revolution” …We are now closer than ever before to an understanding of how the Khmer people came to dominate South East Asia and why their great city ultimately collapsed.
For more from Dr Damien Evans and the Cambodian Archaeological Lidar Initiative, click here.
Every device I own today is vastly more efficient than it’s 1970s equivalent, yet my energy use, along with the country’s and the world’s has soared. That’s because we almost always reinvest efficiency gains in additional consumption. The better we get at doing things the more things we do. That’s The Conundrum.
The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.