Today, new factors demand we urgently change our view of cities and how they should evolve. First, the urban growth surge, spawning mega-cities in Asia and other emerging economies, is unlike anything experienced in history. Secondly, the ecological imperative of reducing urban consumption of carbon and other resources forces us to find accelerated solutions. And there’s intense pressure on budgets to support the increasing demand for public services in cities, So we must find new definitions of what makes a successful city.
The Center’s Livable Cities think tank has begun the task of defining how a fit-for-the- future city can be created and sustained, in emerging markets. So “success” will not be judged solely in terms of economic growth and efficiency, but will include more subjective factors including social, economic and environmental resilience, and inclusiveness for all parts of the population and diversity – as well as remaining authentic during transition. Perhaps “equal opportunity” or “percentage of green spaces” will one day sit alongside GDP as a component in future rankings of successful cities.
Urban transformation has moved beyond the domain of planners to become part of wider public consciousness. As the building of livable cities is crucial for billions, the think tank recognizes that involving multiple stakeholder groups within the neighbourhood as well as on a city level is essential to define urban environments that are able to accommodate and balance different health and well-being requirements in the right way.
By 2012, the Center’s think tank plans to present its proposals to global decision makers such as mayors of the largest cities. The parameters for successful urban life vary widely according to cultural context and geography. It’s a hugely ambitious challenge to distil these factors into any “recipe” for a fulfilling urban future for mankind. And of course, cultural factors including authentic city identities mean there can never be such a thing as a standardized livable city.
Post your comment
Comment title *
Comment text *
Join our Linkedin group
Striving for solutions that improve the health & well-being of people around the world