Top 10 Resilient Cities around the Globe
Resilient cities, those that are working to transition towards a low-carbon economy (mitigation) while also preparing to avert the worst of climate change (adaptation), are gaining interest and attention from policy makers, city councils and others worldwide.
“The battle to prevent catastrophic climate change will be won or lost in our cities...” (C40 Cities Initiative)
Cities account for up to 80% of GHG emissions globally and are home to more than 50% of the world’s population (headed to 60%, 5 billion people by 2030). As I mentioned in the previous post, if we refocus our efforts on the right solutions soon enough, we can mitigate the worst of climate change while actually improving our city economies and growing corporate profits. Hunter Lovins and I recently published a book entitled Climate Capitalism to share stories of cities and companies around the world who are profiting from that transition to the low carbon economy. Furthermore, the longer we wait the more we will have to pay for adaptation.
Just a few weeks ago, I published research on the top 10 Climate-Ready U.S. cities. The response was great and I also received some very valuable feedback which fed into my ongoing research on global cities. While no ranking is perfect, I believe there is real value in identifying metrics and applying them to global cities to contribute to the discussion of how cities can and are intelligently preparing to mitigate and adapt to climate change.
I have used proxies and a methodology for ranking global cities with populations of 600,000 plus based on a range of factors including political commitment, density, transit access and use, renewable energy capacity, GHG emissions, GHG reduction targets, climate change mitigation and adaptation planning, and acreage of parks (adaptation best practice).
Caveat: I have lived in two of the cities on this list (Vancouver and Copenhagen, and spent significant amounts of time in 6 others on the list.)
TOP 10 Resilient Cities around the Globe
10. Tokyo, Japanâ€¨
The most populated city in this ranking, Tokyo also is amongst the most dense and most used transit systems of any city in the world. Tokyo is of course the only Asian city which made the top 10 this year. Tokyo met a key screen (political commitment) by being members of the C40 and ICLEI while also having a published climate action plan. Tokyo, like all cities, still has plenty to work on including an apparent lack of a climate adaptation plan-CAP (or meaningful inclusion within the climate action plan), grow its focus on renewables and increase its green spaces as pat of an adaptation initiative. However, I am keen on their focus on private sector innovation and profitable solutions to mitigate climate change. For example in their CAP, the first initiative is: “Promote Private Enterprises’ Efforts to Achieve CO2 Reductions”.