One of the keywords of this article are so called MegaCities, a term I came to know of by the company Siemens AG, which has made the tackling of challenges, these MegaCities face, one of their business missions.
In short, MegaCities compromise of the greatest and largest urban living and working centres on Earth, such as Beijing , Berlin , New York , London , etc.
Two studies have been conducted by Siemens AG, analyzing the challenges and recommending certain levers: the MegaCity Report (pdf) and the Sustainability study of London (pdf). Both studies are highly interesting and worthwhile to read, helping us to understand, where cities are actually standing at the moment and how businesses are getting involved.
Taking a step back and leaving the business-driven studies, the C40 initiative was founded a few years ago and introduces on their website their program to make participating cities greener. Best practices illustrate recent success stories, but without the bigger picture, i.e. total emission development, despite the success stories, a conclusion cannot be drawn.
A definite conclusion that can be drawn however, is that there are challenges facing us as individuals, as well as city councils and governments on their way to actively minister their cities and contribute to something nearly everybody would agree on being a greater good (however misused this term might be).
A second conclusion I draw for myself is that these challenges cannot be tackled in a satisfying way without integrating industry and businesses into the solution, meaning that market incentives need to be created or need to be tapped to unleash the power of the market. Challenge might generate demand and demand generates supply, leaving us maybe not in a perfect cero-challenges situation, but certainly in a situation with less unsolved problems and if technology developments hasten, the right measures are demanded and transition towards emission-free technologies is possible, cities might look up to a much brighter, yet still-hard-to-work-on, future.
- United Nations Human Settlement Programme
- International Joint Research Project for Global Change and Industrial Transformatio
- International Global Atmospheric Chemistry
- Forschung für die nachhaltige Entwicklung der Megastädte von morgen (Research for the sustainable development of tomorrow’s MegaCities), a research programme supported by the German ministry of research and education