More than half of the world's population now lives in cities. By 2050 that number is expected to nearly double. According to Can a City Be Sustainable?, the latest edition of the the Worldwatch Institute's State of the World series, there is no question that cities will continue to grow. The big debate is how they will grow. Will they continue to suck up a disproportionate share of the world's energy and resources, or will cities lead the way toward building sustainable, just and democratic communities and economies?
On this episode of Locus Focus we talk with Tom Prugh, author and co-director of Can a City Be Sustainable? We'll look at the phenomenon of global sprawl, urban greenhouse gas emissions, rural-urban migration and deforestation, the role of biodiversity in urban sustainability, building sustainable urban transportation and the potential constraints to further urban development.
Tom Prugh is a senior researcher at the Worldwatch Institute and was formerly editor in chief of World Watch magazine. His interests include energy, ecological economics, and the links between governance forms and sustainability. He is the lead author of Natural Capital and Human Economic Survival (with Robert Costanza, Herman Daly, John H. Cumberland, Robert Goodland and Richard B. Norgaard) and The Local Politics of Global Sustainability (with Robert Costanza and Herman Daly), as well as a chapter for a forthcoming book on the Alberta Climate Dialogues.