Bron foto: Child in the city
2010 was a remarkable tipping point for humanity. For the first time in human history more than half of the global population resides in cities. This trend of urbanisation is expected to continue during the next decades. And it has great implications for our shared identity and future.
So, people rapidly move into urban areas. And why wouldn’t they? Cities are places of concentrated services. It’s where the jobs are and nations are governed from. Urban areas are also economic engines and leading in cultural developments. The pull cities have on a nation’s youngest, therefore, is enormous. Moreover, cities have become hubs in global networks. They are the centres of exchange in terms of money, goods and human capital.
This concentration of people and power also has its downsides. For instance, in most cities of the world the amount of legitimate jobs does not meet the amount of available work force. This leads to poor living conditions, an increase in income dispersion and eventually poverty. Furthermore, due to the pressure of migration on existing building stock the urban jungle is rapidly losing green acreage. The increase in building materials such as concrete, brick and steal will eventually lead to the emergence of urban heat islands, decreasing air quality and smog.
In addition to the abovementioned, most cities are situated close to strategic water ways such as delta’s, rivers or oceans. when landbound, urban areas are mostly situated in habitable areas such as valleys. In other words; low areas that are easily flooded. In combination with an increase in population, urban areas are thus becoming more and more susceptible to climatological disasters. Because of this combination, cities also have huge potential in tackling these issues. After all, when cities have proven to be successful in meeting the challenges of this time, more than half of the world’s population would be living in safe and sustainable environments.
In conclusion, the situation is as much complex as it is simple. Rebellious areas around railway stations, dynamic vehicle densities, sleepy suburbs and exhausted city centres; I see you. Not just for what you are today, but for what you could be tomorrow. You are the solution. Now let’s play.
Joey Velberg is storyteller and founder of the Green Communicator. He supports the agent of change with a good story. Curious to what the Green Communicator can do for you? Go to www.greencommunicator.nl or call +316 22 81 31 33.