In 2015, 85% of global GDP was generated in cities. For millennia, cities have been our centers of activity, drivers of growth and bastions of productivity. No country has ever reached middle income status without urbanising. However, rapid urbanization can come at a cost.
It took 10,000 years to achieve the first one billion urban dwellers, but 25 years to achieve the second billion urban dwellers – we are currently experiencing the fastest rate of urbanisation. As cities and other urban areas grow rapidly, strains are put onto the existing infrastructure. High car usage, poor road networks and limited public transportation combine to cause an increase in carbon emissions. This in turn leads to a lower quality of air in urban areas, and has resulted in outdoor air pollution being set to become the leading environmental cause of mortality.
It is not just air pollution that suffers as a result of rapid growth. For example energy demands, sanitation and the quality of housing are all impacted. With the increase in urbanization forecast to continue, it is crucial that we understand how this will impact on the planet as a whole and how the growth can be managed efficiently. Our keynote speakers have a wealth of experience in urbanization and management, ranging from former mayors and politicians to futurists and smart city experts. Below we have listed some of our most popular speakers, but if you had a specific individual in mind please get in touch with our team.