Cities: Saviours of the planet?

Geoff O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


The drive towards urbanisation is continuing throughout the world. More than half of the global population, some 3.5 billion people, live in cities and this is expected to double by 2050. Cities will have to play some crucial roles. As well as meeting the physical and psychological needs of their citizens, cities will also need to minimise their impact on the environment. Cities will need to become highly efficient resource-users and develop in ways that minimise waste and optimise the use of clean and renewable resources. We do know that cities can be very efficient but a step change in the way cities function is needed. In short they will have to be transformed to meet human needs. Further they will need to reduce their ecological footprint in order to free space for other species to thrive. A diverse planet is a healthy planet. Is this achievable? There are some indications that cities in some aspects are heading towards a transformative path. This article will evaluate these trends and discuss what more needs to done to transform cities into places that enhance the sustainability of the planet.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 29 Oct 2015
Event1st International Conference on Sustainable Buildings and Structures - Suzhou, China
Duration: 29 Oct 2015 → …


Conference1st International Conference on Sustainable Buildings and Structures
Period29/10/15 → …


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