Cities nowadays form a global urban system, deeply interconnected, and play an increasing role in the economic, environmental, and social level. As urban development is unfolding and developing, the cities as a global phenomenon, i.e. global cities, represent at the same time a formidable sustainability challenge and a priceless source of opportunities.
Since the Brundtland Report coined the notion of "sustainable development" in 1987, global agendas under the auspices of the United Nations have made extensive use of it turning it into one of the most recurrent commonplaces of international policy. To what extent has it become a truth-generating concept?
We now have the technology to destroy the planet on which we live, but have not yet developed the ability to escape it. Perhaps in a few hundred years, we will have established human colonies amid the stars, but right now we only have one planet, and we need to work together to protect it. Stephen Hawking – The Guardian
What the future holds is, alas, obvious to everyone: a crowded planet and even more crowded cities. It is a vision that highlights the importance of infrastructure and its role in making cities safe, healthy, and productive places to live and work.
Circular economy is a complex concept, holding a potential that governments and practitioners are increasingly trying to unlock. More than 100 definition have been counted (Kirchherrc et al., 2017)1; and around 400 scientific papers are available on the subject to date (Korhonen et. Al, 2018)2, while the two editions of the World Circular Economy Forum have already gathered 1000+ expert from 100+ countries in Finland and Japan.
Cities are complex systems with millions of moving parts and many concentrated risks. Their complexity and scale makes them vulnerable to disruptions—and when bottlenecks or bigger disasters strike, the ripple effects and economic losses can quickly spiral.
One of Umberto Eco's memorable pieces, the ones that typically exemplified both his brilliance and his veneration of his own wit, bore the title "Are people bad for television?"
The world is rapidly urbanizing: more than two thirds of the global population are expected to live in urban areas by 2050. Most of the urban growth will take place in developing countries. Africa’s urban population alone is expected to increase from 40 percent in 2017 to 56 percent by 2050; in Asia the urban population will increase from 48 percent in 2017 to 64 percent by 20501.