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A few weeks ago I visited the Crystal building in London, an iconic building considered the world’s first centre dedicated to improving our knowledge of urban sustainability.
In this building you can find an interactive exhibition in eight different zones where you can explore city trends, challenges, solutions, and learn about the cutting-edge technologies that will help build the sustainable cities of the future.
As you may know, half the world’s population already lives in cities, and every second, the world’s cities grow by two people. We expect that by 2050, 70% of the world’s population will be urban!
| infographic and photos © The Crystal - A Sustainable Cities Initiative by Siemens |
Unicef has also released “An Urban World”, an interactive map of the world representing urban population growth from 1950 till 2050. Take a look here, but don´t forget to come back to read the rest of the article!
The majority of these people move to cities to seek new job opportunities, for economic reasons or to look for a better quality of life (access to health, education and culture). The urban population are now responsible for “producing around 80% of the world’s economic output”, but also for raising the index of global greenhouse gas emissions emitted.
And that’s when we hit the nail on the head!
On the one hand, studies have shown that people living in cities tend to be more energy efficient. On the other hand, that energy surplus tends to be used in other devices/activities naturally related to the urban growth, meaning that cities don’t improve our carbon footprints.
Fortunately chemistry is balancing overall environmental impact and use of finite resources, developing new technologies and cutting-edge innovations that will contribute to the quality of life of future urban generations. From new traffic concepts, energy-efficient buildings to intelligent power supply grids, chemistry is contributing to sustainable cities.
Take a look at the video below:
There, at the Crystal building, and through interactive films, animations and installations you can explore a variety of issues regarding sustainable cities, including water, transport, city design and management, energy, environment, buildings and lighting, safety and security and healthcare.
At the end of your visit the gallery, ‘Future Life’, invites you to imagine how our city might look in 2050.
I must confess I was astonished!