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Sustainability and the City by Adi Wolfson

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CHAPTER 8

What Next?

Although cities today occupy only 2 percent of the world’s land, they are home to 55 percent of the world’s population, they account for more than 70 percent of the world’s economic activity, they consume 75 percent of natural resources and 85 percent of global energy, and they produce 50 percent of total global waste and about 70 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gas emissions (UNEP 2009; UN Habitat 2012). Most existing cities are forecasted to expand in area and population size in the near future when, in addition, many new cities will also be built. These and other changes will alter the city’s defining characteristics, from the utilization of natural resources to the construction and operation of physical infrastructures ...

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