Why Cities?

Significant Impacts

Cities occupy 3% of land surface

Cities consume over 70% of natural resources and energy

Cities produce 80% of global GDP

Produce some 60% of GHG emissions and waste

54% of the global population live in urban areas.

This number is growing by 1.8% every year

Cities are particularly vulnerable (e.g. coastal cities)

Urbanization and Resource Management

As much as 50% of the urban fabric expected to exist by 2050 must still be constructed.

Increasing demands for housing, water, food, materials, and waste generation as population and urbanisation expands.

Need to better understand resource flows in/through cities and environmental impact.

Water scarcity is emerging as a critical issue in rapidly urbanising cities (e.g. water table in parts of Delhi decreasing 2 metres/year).

Loss of Biodiversity in cities.


Urban Density allowing Economies of Scale

Urban Diversity furthering Innovation Capacity

Cities are part of the problem…but are also part of the solution.