The forum: Resilience in an urban world
Many cities are transforming and growing at rates never seen before, as the global population rises and people move to urban areas to find work. By mid-century, around three-quarters of the world’s population is expected to live in cities.
This is creating an urgent need to make cities more resilient to create a better quality of life.
At the 2014 Powering Progress Together conference in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, Shell brought together leading thinkers from academia, business and civil society to share ideas and experiences to help cities manage increasing stresses on basic resources including energy, food and water, and become more resilient. The conference was hosted alongside the Shell Eco-marathon and Shell Energy Lab.
Shell CEO Ben van Beurden opened the day, highlighting the innovation and collaboration that is happening in and across cities around the world. Communities, mayors, companies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and governments are already collaborating to create new systems and technologies today with a different future in mind.
A resilient city is able to adapt to rapid change, to manage shocks – such as an earthquake or hurricane – and to respond to stresses including climate change. Fatih Barol, Director Global Energy Economics at the International Energy Agency, emphasised the urgent need for effective government policy and innovation from business: “We need a major government push followed by the right investment from companies.”