George Adams, Director of Energy and Engineering, SPIE UK, discusses how cities are the engines powering the development of the human race and how sustainable growth factors into this vision.
According to a World Bank study, an astonishing 70% of the world’s cities exceed their national gross domestic product.
By 2050, 600 cities will account for 60% of global domestic product and house 70% of the global population, which is forecast to be in the region of 10 billion.
However, this accelerated development is not without cost. As it stands, cities currently house half of the world’s population, yet they produce almost three quarters of its waste. This may come as a shock to city dwellers, given their access to public transport, modern buildings and comprehensive waste recycling services, but the facts show that cities pollute our atmosphere disproportionately to the number of people who inhabit them.