14 May Smart & Resilient Cities: No Way Out: Our Cities Must Become Smart And Sustainable
The future is coming. Rapidly! I don’t know if the flying cars we used to see in sci-fi movies years ago will become a part of our lives, but there are dazzling developments. At a time when we are talking about autonomous vehicles, energy efficiency entered the cities’ agenda, and investments in this field continue without slowing down. We live in a world where cities compete – not the nations. Countries and even investors wish to bring in a new dynamism into the national economy, to become leaders in the re-shaped globalization with their investments in smart cities.
Dealing with the rapid urbanization
The world’s population is expected to exceed 9 billion by 2050. This growth brings the need for constructing new buildings, roads and transportation systems. 75 percent of the infrastructure that will have been built by 2050 is inexistent today. Cities must already invest in an infrastructure that will bear for decades. With 1.4 million people being added to the urban population every week. Cities account for more than 70 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions while traffic crashes claim more than a million lives every year with the highest number of traffic accidents happening in the developing cities. Moreover, air pollution is a severe problem in cities. Recently, the Mayor of London announced that the city center would be closed to traffic. Paris, Mexico City and New York City are among the other cities that plan to close their downtowns to private vehicles.
Cities are the solution to global climate change
Another reason why the cities are always on the agenda is the fight against climate change. While there are the countries that sign many international agreements, it is mostly the cities that must take action and that are required to put in place the required practices. This year’s United Nations Climate Change meeting of the Parties was held in Bonn, Germany. In its essence, the discussions were focused on how to take firm actions towards implementing the Paris Climate Change Agreement, which had been signed with great enthusiasm in 2015. Paris Agreement is a text where all countries strive to cut down their emissions intending to limiting global warming to 1.5°C in the latter half of the century. All nations except Syria, Nicaragua, and the United States committed under this agreement.
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