Feature Reports

Cities of the Future

Les villes du futur
Urban growth is a major phenomenon of the 21st century. Shanghai, China's great metropolis, is a perfect example. ©Thinkstock

One-third of the world's inhabitants lived in urban areas in 1950. A century later, that proportion is likely to rise to two-thirds. Although the challenges are different depending on the continent and the level of development, every city of the future will have the threefold responsibility of ensuring the well-being of its population, pursuing dynamic economic growth and protecting the planet, particularly by mitigating global warming. Planète Énergies takes a look at the aspirations and action plans of the world’s major cities.

La ville du futur : gérer durablement l’environnement, l’économique et le social

The world population is expected to rise from 7 billion today to 9 to 10 billion people by 2050. Growth will be spread across the large metropolises and the many cities that have over one million inhabitants. Sustainable developmentThis term was first defined in the Brundtland Report, published in 1987, as “development that meets the needs of the present without... of these major urban areas is one of the key challenges of the 21st century.

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Copenhague veut être "neutre en carbone"

For decades Copenhagen has been pursuing several core initiatives to improve the city's environment and reduce its carbon footprintThe carbon footprint (also known as greenhouse gas inventory) of a good or service measures the impact human activities have on the environment ... . In 2009, the year Copenhagen hosted the world climate conference, the city devised a Climate Adaptation Plan with the ambition of becoming the first carbon-neutral city by 2025. 

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Vancouver has unabashedly announced its ambition to be the world's Greenest City by 2020. The progress made in its wide-ranging initiatives is measured annually. Half-way through the ten-year Greenest City action plan, the Canadian metropolis has achieved impressive results, even if there is still much to do to meet its targets for reducing greenhouse gas (ghg) Gas with physical properties that cause the Earth's atmosphere to warm up. There are a number of naturally occurring greenhouse gases... (GHG) emissions and creating green jobs.

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South Africa's largest city has undertaken a series of structural projects aimed at bringing its spread-out districts together and reducing inequality, providing energy services to the poorest populations and implementing an effective waste management system. In addition to stamping out the urban and social legacy of the apartheid era, this ambitious program also seeks to reduce the city's carbon footprintThe carbon footprint (also known as greenhouse gas inventory) of a good or service measures the impact human activities have on the environment ... . Johannesburg has teamed up with other large cities of the world to coordinate their efforts in the fight against climate change.

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The great metropolis of Shanghai, a symbol of China's exponential growth and openness to the world, has become both a testing ground and a showcase for the country's ongoing efforts to reduce air pollution and control urbanization.

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Masdar City

Masdar City is a paradox. Despite having virtually no residents and no real urban culture, it has already set its sights on achieving world city status, attracting researchers and businesses and spreading its technological innovations to other regions around the globe.

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Moscow, the capital of the Russian Federation, is Europe’s largest city in terms of both population (12 million residents in the city limits and almost 17 million residents in greater Moscow) and surface area (spreading across more than 1,000 square kilometers). Moscow’s development was strongly influenced by successive waves of Tsarist, then Soviet, policies and remains highly dependent on decisions made by the central government.

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