We are in the midst of the largest migration and urbanization processes in human history; changes that represent both immense challenges and huge opportunities for urban sustainability. Urban Planet makes this journey more legible, highlighting the hopes and hindrances its brings, and the need for a parallel evolution of our science and systems if we are to reap the rewards of the great urban trek that we are now on.
Planet Earth has been the human habitat for more than hundred thousand years and today rapid global urbanization offers the promise of better services, stronger economies and connections. However, this process also carries risks and many unforeseeable consequences. To deepen our understanding of this complex process and its importance for global sustainability and to address the new complexity of the Anthropocene, we need to build interdisciplinary knowledge around a systems approach.
Urban Planet takes an integrative look at our urban environment, bringing together scholars from a diverse range of disciplines: from sociology and political science to evolutionary biology, geography, economics and engineering. These perspectives are further enriched by the contribution from more than 30 architects journalists, artists, designers, activists and youth, giving a diversity of often neglected voices and perspectives on the challenges and solutions facing the Urban Planet.
The book is unique in its attempt to connect challenges and solutions at the local scale with drivers and policy frameworks at the regional and global scale and provide a much-needed cross-scale perspective with deepened understanding or urban-rural and local-global interactions. The more than 100 authors argue that to overcome the major challenges we are facing, we must deepen our understanding of the complexity of cities and urban regions and embark on a large-scale reinvention of ways of living together, grounded in inclusiveness and visions of sustainability.
Elmqvist, T., Bai, X., Frantzeskaki, N., Griffith, C., Maddox, D., McPhearson, T., Parnell, S., Romero-Lanko, P., Simon, D., Watkins, M. (Eds.) (2018). Urban Planet. Knowledge towards Sustainable Cities. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press.
With contributions of DRIFT’s Niki Frantzeskaki, Julia Wittmayer and Flor Avelino.
Urban Planet is available online, open access! Download your copy here.
April 25, 2018