Societal and technological transformation in the face of climate change will be won or lost in our cities and urban communities. This is notjust because of the global urban demographic shift with more than 50 percent of the population now living in urban conditions, or because cities contribute around 70 to 80 percent of greenhouse gas emissions, but it is as much to do with the growing economic and political importance of cities.
This article is part of a regular section in Solutions in which the authors are challenged to envision a future society in which all the right changes have been made. The authors introduced the project VP2040 which was established in 2013. It focuses on Australian cities (including Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth), envisioning possibilities for those cities if they have achieved an 80 percent reduction in their contribution to greenhouse gases, along with greatly enhanced resilience by 2040. In this project, citizen engagement and ‘dreaming’ about the future is a central element complementing research, scenario formation, and analysis of pathways for innovation.
With regard to separation of food scraps for composting, this research identified that there are two important aspects often overlooked when the focus is only on behaviour: 1. Policy makers need to ensure that there are socio-technical systems supporting diverse groups of people...Read more
Australians have world leading levels of urban resource consumption and carbon emissions – an unsustainable position in the 21 st century. Survey research at the Centre for Urban Transitions reveals that the known determinants of our large urban ecological footprints are...Read more
Transportation planners are often looking for efficiency in transportation but this article in Science Advances has also identified that resilience is an important city design feature. Planning for when disruptions occur can help to avoid city gridlock.Read more
The Visions & Pathways 2040 team are delighted to announce that their first report – the results of the project’s first year – is now available online and in hard-cover. The report, with results from the first year of the Visions and Pathways 2040 project, is titled 'Glimpses of the future and critical uncertainties'. It’s available online and in print, click here to download a copy.
Abstract: Visions and Pathways 2040 is a research and engagement project that seeks to envision possible future forms of Australian cities and lifestyles in 2040 if they have achieved an 80% reduction in their greenhouse gas emissions (on 2013 levels) and have addressed broader resilience issues, and, secondly, to ‘backcast’ from visions possible pathways to the present that may, in turn, suggest policies, strategies and governance structures for reaching them. This paper describes the approaches that were used in the initial phases of the project and early research results.
We are in the final years of the critical decade,4 the period in which our actions to reduce carbon emissions will determine whether we succeed globally to limit temperature rise to less than 2 degrees. At the same time, more than 50% of the global population now live in urban areas, which is expected...