Innovation_for_sustainability_toward_a_s.pdf - Sustain Sci(2012 7(Supplement 1:91\u2013100 DOI 10.1007\/s11625-011-0152-2 SPECIAL FEATURE OVERVIEW ARTICLE

Innovation_for_sustainability_toward_a_s.pdf - Sustain...

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SPECIAL FEATURE: OVERVIEW ARTICLE Sustainability science: bridging the gap between science and society Innovation for sustainability: toward a sustainable urban future in industrialized cities Ji Han Psyche Fontanos Kensuke Fukushi Srikantha Herath Niko Heeren Vincenzo Naso Claudio Cecchi Peter Edwards Kazuhiko Takeuchi Received: 7 October 2011 / Accepted: 20 December 2011 / Published online: 18 January 2012 Ó Springer 2012 Abstract Achieving a sustainable urban future has become an important focus globally. In this paper, three major themes of a sustainable urban future are presented: a low carbon society, cities in the context of an ageing population and revitalization of the urban–rural fringe. Visions of these themes, in the context of highly industri- alized regions, are discussed. To achieve a low carbon society, the importance of technological innovations such as new technologies and systems applied in buildings (homes and businesses), industries, and transportation are emphasized. To adapt to an ageing society, a compact city is seen with responsive transport, infrastructure and ser- vices that cater to the needs of the elderly. To enhance the urban–rural fringe, the introduction of eco-industries, which can create opportunities for both sides, is proposed. Keywords Urban sustainability Á Low carbon city Á Compact city Á Ageing society Á Urban–rural fringe Introduction The world is becoming steadily more urban as people continue moving to cities and towns. According to the World Urbanization Prospects report, by the middle of 2009, the number of people living in urban areas (3.42 billion) had surpassed the number living in rural areas (3.41 billion) (United Nations 2009 ). As of 2009, already about 82% of North American populations live in urban areas, as do almost 80% of people in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as more than 70% of people in Europe and Oceania (Fig. 1 a). In both Africa and Asia, urban dwellers represent about 40% of the total population. By 2050, the world urban population is expected to increase by 84%, from 3.4 billion in 2009 to 6.3 billion by mid-century. There are, however, significant variations between individual countries, and some major disparities in the level of urbanization remain among developing ones. Figure 1 b shows the top 30 most populous countries, where more than three-quarters of urban dwellers lived in 2009. By 2050, 29 of the 30 most populous countries in 2009 will have more than 50% of people living in urban areas. In addition, there is a continuing trend towards ever- larger urban agglomerations. In 2009, there were 21 megacities in the world, each with at least 10 million inhabitants, accounting for 9.4% of the world urban pop- ulation. Megacities come about because of the fusion of several cities or urban localities that are linked functionally and form an urban agglomeration. It is projected that the number of megacities will increase to 29 in 2025, and they will be habited by 10.3% of the world urban population.
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