Introduction Introduction Chapter 5 Chapter 5
Chapter 1 Chapter 1 Chapter 6 Chapter 6
Chapter 2 Chapter 2 Notes for Indicators Notes
Chapter 3 Chapter 3 Notes for boxes Notes for boxes
Chapter 4 Chapter 4 Indicators Indicators
CHAPTER 5 Printer Friendly printer friendly version
Chapter 1 Urbanization and Sustainability in the 21st Century

Cities: Burden or Blessing?

Taking the Broader View

Looking Beyond the Local

Land Cover Changes

Cities and Climate Change

Poverty and Vulnerability to Natural Disasters

Sea Level Rise: Not If but When, and How Much?

Adapting to Climate Change

Local Actions, Global Consequences: Global Change, Local Impact

Looking Beyond the Local

Urban areas depend on natural resources for water, food, construction materials, energy and the disposal of wastes. In turn, urbanization transforms local landscapes as well as ecosystems both local and further afield.

Policymakers must be aware that their local decisions have far-reaching effects and conversely that climatic or ecosystem changes may have a local impact. Both aspects require better information and a longer-term vision.

Mega-cities attract attention by their size and economic dominance. However, small and medium-sized cities, which currently house more than half the world’s urban population and are expected to continue to have a predominant role, encounter similar challenges and pressures.(5)

Two issues in particular illustrate the interaction between urbanization and natural resources and their interaction with GEC. The first, changes in land use and land cover, has already been discussed at some length in Chapter 4. The present chapter gives more attention to the impact of climate change and variability.