Today, over half of the world’s population live in cities (3.5 billion) and by 2050 this figure is expected to rise to two thirds (6.5 billion). That means we need to build a new city for one million people each week to keep up, or manage the growth of the cities we already have. Cities are the powerhouses of economic growth, contributing over 80% of global GDP and functioning as catalysts for inclusion and innovation.
However, cities also account for about 70% of global energy consumption, greenhouse gas emission and resource consumption. The environmental impact of cities extends well beyond their borders. Sustainable development cannot be achieved without significantly transforming the way we build and manage our urban spaces.
In this video, Professor Tommy Wiedmann from the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering, UNSW, breaks down some of the key challenges behind SDG #11.