2022 World Cities Report launched by UN-Habitat at the World Urban Forum
The World Cities Report 2022: Envisaging the Future of Cities seeks to provide greater clarity and insights into the future of cities based on existing trends, challenges and opportunities, as well as disruptive conditions, including the valuable lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic, and suggest ways that cities can be better prepared to address a wide range of shocks and transition to sustainable urban futures. The Report recommends a state of informed preparedness that provides us with the opportunity to anticipate change, correct the course of action and become more knowledgeable of the different scenarios or possibilities that the future of cities offers.
The World Cities Culture Report 2022 is a unique research project, building on the ground-breaking 2018 and 2015 Reports and created with 38 partner cities, across six continents, over two years. Research began in 2021, with interviews from 12 global experts around the future of cities.
Professor of Climate Urbanism Vanesa Castán Broto in collaboration with Urban Institute researchers produced chapter 5 “Securing a Greener Urban Future”. This chapter informs that climate change and environmental concerns increasingly dominate future scenarios. The increase in extreme weather events and natural disasters like flooding, heatwaves and landslides will impact urban areas the hardest, which makes climate change adaptation a paramount concern. Meanwhile, urban areas are responsible for a majority of the world’s carbon emissions. As such, the transition to net zero greenhouse gas emissions must occur as soon as feasibly possible. Cities can do their part by embracing a wide range of options.
The Urban Institute team also contributed to chapter 5 on “Urban Planning for the Future of Cities”. This chapter argues that cities are complex systems that grow, develop and even shrink based on a variety of forces. Planning is an essential tool for shaping the future of cities, as unplanned human settlements are prone to sprawl, inefficient land use, poor connectivity and a lack of adequate municipal services. Good urban planning is one of the three pillars of sustainable cities, without which cities are unlikely to achieve the optimistic scenario of urban futures.