Future Proofing Our Cities

Sep 30, 2014 1:00 PM ET

As featured on the www.edie.net | Blog

We now live in the age of the city. More than half of the world's people live in urban areas and by 2050, it will be more like 70 percent. At the same time, we are using natural resources 1.5 times faster than the world can replenish itself. With city living set to continue rising, climate change and resource scarcity challenges are only going to increase.

One of the key challenges is to make existing buildings in cities more energy efficient, more water efficient and more renewable, using solutions ranging from the simple – such as insulation – to the more advanced, such as clean energy, building management systems and water recycling measures.

At the same time, if new buildings are not greener than what went before, it simply won’t work – and governments around the world need to continue to introduce new rules to make sure that they are greener than before.

The World Business Council for Sustainable Development (WBCSD) predicts that by 2050, 90 percent of buildings will be zero net energy and fewer than six percent of buildings will use fossil fuels for heating or cooling. But it is about more than just the buildings on their own – city dwellers need not just smart buildings but smart cities, with smart grids, and smart transport networks.

As developers and city planners grapple with these trends and challenges, they are increasingly looking to their suppliers to help tackle them.

At AkzoNobel we are working to meet these needs through a strategy focused on radical resource efficiency. An approach we call Planet Possible – our commitment to doing more with less.

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