Urban migration is the drumbeat behind the global cities movement. And urbanization leaders are rising to prominence across the spheres of real estate, technology, and sustainability.
By the year 2050, it is projected that 70 percent of the global population will live in cities, consuming the lion's share of the world’s natural resources. As populations rise and the pressure for limited resources increases, smart thinking is needed -- in the form of smart cities, which harness technology to fight the challenges of urbanism, whilst maximising its creative and economic potential.
In the following pages, you'll find the Top 20 individuals around the globe who are at the forefront of this movement. (Feel we've missed the mark or left anyone off of our list? Be sure to tell us on the message boards below.)
The essential role of ecosystem services in cities What about the essential role of Ecosystem services - not only do they sustain life but they are also part of the economy of future cities. I would include Herbert Girardet (Regenerative Cities), Tim Beatley from the University of Virginia (Biophilic cities) and Dieter Helm both as an economist and as the Chair of the UK's Natural Capital Committee.
Re: Global Cities Leaders Those "thinkers influencing the urban environment" include Dr. Karen Ehrhardt-Martinez [Garrison Institute Initiative on Transformational Ecology].
Her research and development work have focused on three areas: 1) human impact on the environment; and 2) the relationship between economic development, social progress, and gender, and 3) the role of non-governmental organizations in catalyzing social change.
Presently, she is involved in Research on the disproportional impact of transportation costs on different socio-economic groups in the United States and the effect of transportation policies on individual and household transportation choice sets; qualitative research exploring consumer perceptions of the smart grid, smart meters, and in-home displays and devices; research on the persistence of feedback-related energy savings in the U.S. residential sector.
Re: Global Cities Leaders I think it's great that so many important topics that have been on the fringe somewhat are getting more mainstream attention. There are few things that will affect our lives as much as where and how we live. Our current socio-economic institutions are going to undergo a lot of strain as we all try to adapt to change that comes so rapidly.
Re: Global Cities Leaders I love the quote from Churchill, although in my mind he was really paraphrasing Aristotle - 'First we shape our habits, then our habits shape us', although I think it is equally apt in referring to our built environment.
West 8 Adriann Geuze Yes, I agree West 8 should be featured. Their work i designing multifunctional cityscapes and masterplans ties many strands of future cities together. Their work in Germany and the netherlands shows that with proper forethought cities can accommodate cars and green space and healthy environment by using a hierarchy of uses and clever use of green routes and cycle\pedestrian friendly infrastructure. I was also surprised at the list of architects. Edward Cullinan architects should be there as they virtually invented green architecture in the UK.
Re: Global Cities Leaders Great points Peter and Neil.
Neil - I am not an architect, but I would easily give architects a lot of credit for shaping our cities. Jane Henley recently quoted Churchill here in saying "we shape our buildings, thereafter they shape us." I think the architecture in a city makes all the difference in our ability to live comfortably, to interact with people at a community level, to feel safe, to feel part of the fabric of a city. Of course, as you rightly say, Microsoft has a huge role to play, as do many vendors. But your point highlights the general purpose of this site -- to bring together all who are responsible for building livable cities of the future, and that involves people from several different industries. That's what I particularly liked about Claer's list -- it incorporated many individuals working in many different areas. Of course, I also like that it's stirring debate. So keep your thoughts coming!
Re: Global Cities Leaders Also as an architect-urbanist, aren't we talking about urbanism and smart cities here, not architecture and architects, who after all only shape a very small propotion of our cities.
Microsoft is a much more powerful shaper of our cities than the likes of Libeskind or Foster.
If there are to be thinkers influencing the urban environment on the list then I would second Jan Gehl, and also, and I declare an interest here, Sir Terry Farrell, whose thinking on the underlying forces shaping our cities and upon emergent v 'modernist planning'is essential reading.
Global Cities Leaders Wow, interesting topic and controversial no doubt.
As an architect myself I was surprised by the choices of Foster, Adjaye, Libeskind and Koolhaus to an extent. Whilst all internationally respected architects, I feel there is place on the list for Jan Gehl, and what about for Adriaan Geuze from West8?
Smart City Money Makers companies and solutions that are most prominent, and destined to be most profitable, in the smart city revolution.
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