Such was the theme of a debate held this past September in London. The panel included philosopher and author Alain de Botton, former mayor of Bogotá Enrique Peñalosa, associate director at Arup Alejandro Gutierrez and monocle’s editor in chief Tyler Brûlé.
While you can watch the entire debate, here are some snippets that I found inspiring:
What are the most exciting things happening in cities today? Diversity, finding ways to expose the inner workings of a city and public pedestrian space.
The notion of a great public transit systems transcends simply efficiency and volume of passengers. It becomes an integrator of the various regions of a city, a public space with a function that serves its users not only in moving them from one corner to the next, but as a source of open spaces. Such was the lesson learned in Bogotá after creating many kilometres of pedestrian spaces.
Urbanization, or the process of incorporating more people into cities adds 45 million people per year. In China alone the next 20 years this process will require the equivalent of building 50 Shanghais! There is a sense of lost opportunity when all these new cities [...]
Next week the Mayors from 40 of the world’s largest cities will gather in New York to review progress, share best practices, identify collaboration opportunities and set action plans to fight climate change. The C40 Large Cities Climate Summit program will include topics such as Beating Congestion, Decentralized Energy, Efficient Water Supply, Climate Change in the context of Economic Development, Green Buildings, Waste Management & Low Carbon Economies.
In big city I had pointed out how the action of the largest cities is what really matters when dealing with global problems. 10% of the world’s population live in 100 of the largest cities alone. Through management of their infrastructure, landfills, treatment plans, legislation of local land use policies to drive development in the right direction, regulation of automobiles and their energy plants, the overall impact they can exercise is significant.
The delegates attending will represent (bold indicates among 10 largest cities in the world):
Melbourne, Sydney (Australia)
Curitiba, Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo (Brazil)
Beijing, Shanghai (China)
Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)
Delhi, Mumbai (India)
Mexico City (Mexico)
Johannesburg (South Africa)
Seoul (South Korea)
Barcelona, Madrid (Spain)
London (United [...]