OBEL AWARD Talks: CITIES – Seminal solutions to the challenges facing cities

We all know the figures about cities: more than 50% of the world’s population are city dwellers and the number is increasing. Cities consume about 75 % of all energy and produce about 80% of all CO2 as well as about 80% of GNP. Even with these figures in mind, the major issues facing cities seem difficult to define and even more difficult to tackle. Cities are dynamic, and with many agents intervening in the definition and creation of a city or parts of it, coupled with often out of date tools to understand and manage cities, the current situation is, at best, complex and confusing.

Who makes the city of today? Cities are places of conflicting interests. Is it possible to reconcile some of these? Can cities move fast enough towards a circular economy to assure survival? Is policy top down necessary or the answer? How can we meaningfully engage people from the individual level to broader levels of community, city and societal actions? Join the conversation to discuss these questions and more about the challenges facing cities today.


Joan Clos

Former Executive Director, UN Habitat


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