Since the industrial revolution cities have been growing exponentially through the process of urbanisation. Today more than half of the global population dwells in cities and by 2050 the number will be closer to 80%, with most of this new growth coming from developing countries.
Amidst the increasing growth in urbanisation and city development an increasing demand for better, more efficient energy, water and food provision has emerged as a priority. Many politicians, academics, business people and futurologists have turned their attention to this need form smarter, more sustainable cities.
One particular initiative stands out!
In 2005, the then Mayor of London Ken Livingstone convened a meeting of 18 large cities to collaborate on climate change solutions. The purpose of the meeting was to get the -participating cities – initially called the C20 – to develop coordinated procurement policies and a commitment to accelerate adoption of new technologies to offset CO2 emissions.
The initiative took off and by 2006 it was announced that the Clinton Climate Initiative (CCI) would partner with the C20, and subsequently expand the programme to include 40 large cities and an additional number of smaller cities that were leaders in addressing climate change. The C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group was borne with the Mayor of New York, Michael Bloomberg, as its chairman.
The C40 participating cities include…
Addis Ababa, Athens, Bangkok, Beijing, Berlin, Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Cairo, Caracas, Chicago, Delhi NCT, Dhaka, Hanoi, Houston, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Karachi, Lagos, Lima, London, Los Angeles, Madrid, Melbourne, Mexico City, Moscow, Mumbai, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, Rio de Janeiro, Rome, Sao Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, and Warsaw.
Some cool C40 City facts
The C40 cities have been chosen because they each have unique characteristics and infrastructure that make them perfect catalysts for change. The C40 cities account for:
Example initiatives from the C40
Here are few of the smart city sustainability initiatives, courtesy of C40:
This book investigates how the meanings and politics of urban sustainability are being radically rethought in response to the economic downturn and the credit crunch. In this ground-breaking contribution, prominent scholars provide up to date coverage of the impacts of recent changes on key areas of urban planning, including housing, transport, and the environment, and map out core areas for future research. The Future of Sustainable Cities: Critical Reflections
Charles El-Zeind is passionate about communicating environmental issues such as climate change and sustainability. Charles is currently involved in a grassroots community project with the Fiveways and Hollingdean Transition Network and writes regularly for the Sustainable Business Toolkit. He holds a bachelor degree from the University of Brighton in Environment and Media Studies.