Cities have long birthed advances in the sciences, arts, human rights, business and government. Millions of people have moved to cities for better lives or services unavailable elsewhere.
But as cities grow, so are problems stemming from stretched transportation, energy and water infrastructure. Pandemics, rising food prices, polluted waterways and skies, blackouts, clogged roadways and joblessness have eroded quality of life and destabilized societies and their prospects for prosperity. With urban populations set to nearly double from today’s levels to 7 billion by 2050, these problems will worsen. Rapidly industrializing countries, largely unprepared for this surge, are most vulnerable.
Unless we take action. Mayors and urban experts at design and engineering firms, mass-transit agencies, corporations, universities, multilateral banks, the United Nations and within civil society hold the key to unlocking the vibrant potential of cities. Better predictive analytics, sensors, instant communication for better service provision, more inclusive governance, sustainable building materials and innovative financing and partnership models are but a few advances that, if linked and leveraged, can put cities on a better path. Improving urban networks and connecting them to quality public goods like parks, schools, hospitals and mass transit is critical.
Driven by insight from experts in these sectors, the “Transforming Cities” event identifed and tested potential solutions to make cities more resilient, equitable and socially inclusive. Read the wrap-up report and watch the video here.
This event is funded and hosted by the Rockefeller Foundation, and is organised with the participation of The Economist Intelligence Unit.
Convening lead by