Navigating through the Urban Age: Principles and Innovations

Xuemei Bai, Barbara NORMAN, Peter Edwards

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


By 2030, it is estimated that 65 percent of the global population will live in cities, and most of the additional three billion world population projected by 2050 will be added to cities. The process of urbanization is typically driven by push and pull factors, but national government policy is emerging as another important driver in countries like China, where urbanization is closely linked to industrialization and economic growth. There are numerous challenges associated with rapid urbanization, including providing for rapidly growing urban populations, managing air pollution, reducing carbon emissions, preparing for climate change risks, and improving social integration and governance procedures. A consorted approach integrating local, national, and international efforts, and mobilizing all sectors and actors is required. In this regard, understanding cities as systems that are nested within larger systems will be critical. Solutions are most likely to vary across cities and will be context dependent. Nonetheless, there are some high-level principles for building sustainable, resilient, and healthy cities, and although still a long way to go, there are some encouraging signs towards implementing these principles from international, national, and local levels. Of particular importance is the role of the university, which is increasingly finding cities as living laboratories and becoming the engine of innovation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-62
Number of pages8
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2016


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