Science must help to make city living sustainable
It’s time researchers got to grips with the formidable challenge of rapidly growing urbanization
How can we enable our urban centres to cope with extremes of weather, including those that global warming is expected to bring? And how can planning for worst-case scenarios be aligned with increasing awareness of the need to make our cities more sustainable?
That need is great argues an editorial in Nature. It’s well documented that humans are becoming an urban and not a rural species, and that trend is expected to continue. In 1950, less than one-third of the population lived in cities. More than 50% do so now, and by 2050 the figure is projected to be 70%. Every week, the urban population grows by around 1.5 million. By mid-century, as many people will be living in cities as occupy the entire planet today. About one-third of this new urban population growth will be in just three countries — Nigeria, China and India.
By: David Adam, Nature Research