Accelerating Green Urban Growth
In 2007 we reached an urban tipping point when for the first time in history over 50% of the world’s population was living in urbanized environments. According to estimates by the UN Population Division 2010, urban population is predicted to reach 69% by 2050. If managed ineffectively, rapid urban population growth can create severe environmental, economic and social problems – leading to loss of productivity, attractiveness, pollution, congestion, reduced quality of life and social exclusion. Rapid urbanization is not the only significant urban challenge; cities must adapt to changing attitudes towards the environment and social equity, and embrace new technologies that make transport and housing more energy efficient. These challenges require cities to aspire to be more integrated, less car-dependent and more mass-transit and pedestrian friendly.
In today’s economic times, financial sustainability is equally as important as environmental and social concerns. To manage the pace of change requires unprecedented levels of investment at a time of tightening financial resources. Against this backdrop, however, many city leaders are finding creative ways to push ahead and – recognizing the clear economic, environmental and social benefits of green growth policies – are transforming their cities for the future.
A green growth model has emerged as a new paradigm that will identify policies and approaches that promote economic development while reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, minimizing waste and inefficient use of natural resources, and shift production and consumption towards a clean, low-carbon economy. In this article we present seven enablers that support the transition to a green urban economy.
KeywordsGrowth Financing Enablers Greening and leadership
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