Cities: Engines of national and global growth (The New Climate Economy Report 2014)

Cities: Engines of national and global growth (The New Climate Economy Report 2014)

This report was produced by a partnership of seven leading policy and research institutions from the developing and the developed world. It argues that building more climate resilient cities will be beneficial for economic resilience and the global economy, contrary to concerns about the economic trade-offs of adaptation and mitigation. The economic, social and environmental costs of urban growth in the current trajectory, outweigh the benefits. More compact urban growth and more connected and environmentally efficient infrastructure could not only reduce GhG emissions by 1.5 billion tonnes by 2030, but could also drive economic productivity, as well as social and health benefits. Leadership has been demonstrated in adaptations, especially in the transport sector, but there needs to be new approaches to planning which integrate sectors such as transport, infrastructure and land use with wider economic, social and environmental objectives. 
Taking into account the unique geographies and economies of different cities, the report divides them into emerging, global megacities and mature cities and compares their different threats and opportunities. It provides policy recommendations for infrastructural adaptations as per their category.  It calls for three major approaches to future urban growth: 
i) Compact development – planned and managed expansion interspersed with greenspaces. It should focus on higher-density, contiguous development, with functionally and socially mixed neighbourhoods, and walkable, human-scale local urban environments.
ii) Connected infrastructure – smarter, more efficient and integrated transport systems, buildings and energy sources. 
iii) Coordinated governance – planning, policies and implementation shared across government departments and sectors. This should prevent other national priorities from overriding climate resilient development.
It concludes that the international community has a role to play in promoting the adoption of these strategies, through the sharing and support of best practise.

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