The world’s urban population is expected to double by 2050. Seven to eight billion people will then be living in cities. If we comply with the Paris Climate Agreement, the use of fossil fuel should cease well before 2050. Mathis Wackernagel stressed that if cities want to be resilient and successful, they need to find ways to provide for healthy and thriving lives within the resource budget of planet Earth. These cities are one-planet cities.
Since infrastructures have decades- or century-long lifespans, foresight is crucial for adapting cities to future challenges. Vice versa, postponing forward-thinking action and continuing to promote resource-inefficient infrastructure will cause lasting liabilities.
In his lecture, Mathis Wackernagel answered many fundamental questions about this subject matter: How can we achieve the vast and rapid transformation of our cities necessary in the face of global trends? How can we harness foresight and innovation and turn the possible into reality? How much effort will it take? Is the outcome worth the effort?
Mathis Wackernagel is co-creator of the Ecological Footprint concept and CEO of the Global Footprint Network, an international think-tank that focuses on bringing about a sustainable human economy in which all can thrive within the means of one planet. He advises governments, corporations and international NGOs worldwide on sustainability and holds numerous lectures. In addition, he has won prestigious awards, such as the 2015 IAIA Global Environment Award, the 2012 Blue Planet Prize, the 2012 Binding Nature and Environmental Prize, the 2012 Kenneth E. Boulding Memorial Award, the 2011 Zayed International Prize for the Environment and the 2007 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship
Postponing forward-thinking action and continuing to promote resource-inefficient infrastructure will cause lasting liabilities.