Global Urbanisation and the Transformation towards Sustainability

In 2016, the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) published a report entitled ‘Unlocking the transformative power of cities’, revealing prospects and what is needed for this paradigm shift in urban development. The WBGU describes constraints within which cities’ development pathways towards a people-oriented form of urbanization should be realized, and which, if breached, would put sustainable development at risk. In this regard, all cities and urban societies should pursue development pathways that abide by the planetary guardrails, and they should ensure that universal minimum standards on substantive, political and economic inclusion are adhered to. Furthermore, they should promote ‘Eigenart’: i. e. cities should create the necessary conditions for self-efficiency, quality of life and local identity, and all decision making should take into account the socio-cultural and spatial diversity of cities.

Dirk Messner, Chair, WBGU, German Development Institute - DIE



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