- Urbanization is a key environmental issue as well.
- The rapid pace at which urbanization is taking place in the developing world has an impact on climate change and other global environmental issues.
- Cities account for more than two-thirds of the global energy demand and result in up to 80 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions.
- The urban planning and investment choices that a few large developing countries will make therefore represent one of the most important environmental issues of the twenty-first century.
- Entire new industries are forming with the aim of switching to clean and renewable energies and managing the world’s resources in a more efficient manner, primarily in developed countries but also in the developing world.
- Science, technology and innovation are key elements of sustainable urbanization and will play a growing role as such. Their use may not solve all urbanization problems, yet can provide a multitude of solutions that can be leveraged by cities.
- The use of science, technology and innovation in the urban context implies the application of both high and low technology and innovative approaches to urban planning and institutional innovation.
- Science, technology and innovation approaches are widely available for cities to draw upon, yet cities are complex structures that require integrated responses to their problems and there are sometimes difficulties related to such integration.
- Urban systems need to be designed with multiple uses in mind. Science, technology and innovation offer a range of related options, including high technology, low technology and innovative governance.
- Combining science, technology and innovation to solve urban problems is often contextual, although there are several good practices to draw upon from cities across the globe.
- Science, technology and innovation contribute to sustainable urbanization in a variety of ways, including with regard to new capabilities in spatial planning, socioeconomic research, and enhancing cooperation between urban departments, optimizing mobility and enabling sustainable resource management.
- A science, technology and innovation-oriented mindset also brings about innovative models of thinking in urban governance, such as for participatory budgeting and regional urban planning.
- Finally, science, technology and innovation contribute to social inclusion by improving the tools available to urban planners to respond to the needs of excluded groups and to increase sensitivity to gender equality.
- Each urban setting faces different challenges and has different technology needs. In some cases, inexpensive and readily available technologies may be the best solution to urban problems.
- For example, intermodal transport services can be designed without necessarily requiring expensive high technology means of transport.
- Promoting bicycles, an affordable, healthy, clean and energy-efficient technology, may be the best option to improve mobility in many cities, for both younger and older citizens.
- Furthermore, innovation, which in the urban context may refer to any new method, business model, policy, institutional design or regulation, could meet the needs of urban populations in a more efficient, effective and sustainable way.
- For instance, improved rules or legislation, as well as improved institutions, stakeholder participation models and new means of delivering services, can contribute to sustainable urbanization.
- As a final point, high technology, low technology and urban innovation can also be integrated to address a specific urban issue in harmony
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