Hi, we're Juhi Shareef and Priti Ambani and together we’re going to be exploring the big questions around what makes a resilient and regenerative city.
So, where do we start? The UN says that since 2007, more than half the world’s population lives in cities. This is projected to rise to 60 per cent by 2030 and two third’s of the world’s population by 2050. This, despite cities covering somewhere between 3 to 6 percent of the Earth’s landmass.
According to the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, cities consume over 75% of natural resources, produce over 50% of global waste, and emit between 60-80% of global greenhouse gases. So cities are not only economic centres and our most impactful spaces, but their scale means they can tackle systemic challenges.
"When the forest and the city are functionally indistinguishable, then we know we have reached sustainability." (Janine Benyus, Co-founder, Biomimicry Institute)
So, in this podcast series, we’re focussing on what our future cities should look like post Coronavirus? How do we collaborate to create a circular metabolism for cities to go beyond reducing consumption, pollution, carbon and waste to ultimately help restore our environment? What are the roles of culture, creativity and behaviour change?
How can we create resilient and regenerative cities, and what does that actually mean?
The OECD, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development is investigating how cities can increase their resilience. Resilient cities promote sustainable development, well-being and inclusive growth.
The OECD defines resilient cities as: cities that have the ability to absorb, recover and prepare for future shocks.
What about the term regenerative?
Herbert Girardet, co-founder of the World Future Council and author of Creating Regenerative Cities, said in an interview that sustainability is a term that’s worn out and uninspiring. Instead, he prefers the idea of regenerating degraded ecosystems. So, the concept of regeneration isn’t new.
Girardet defines a regenerative city as one built on an environmentally enhancing, restorative relationship with natural systems from which the city draws resources.
In other words, a regenerative city maintains a symbiotic relationship with its ecosystem by going beyond sustainable development to actively improving and regenerating the productive capacity of the ecosystems on which it depends.
So, in the coming weeks, we will be having some conversations with leading thinkers from all walks of life. We certainly don’t have all the answers, but we’ll be asking the big questions so that we really can #buildbackbetter.
About Juhi & Priti
Between us, we have lived in cities around the world including London, Brighton Brussels, Edinburgh, Mumbai, Washington DC, Atlanta and Auckland and are part of a global community of change-makers. We share a background in sustainability, circular economy, business model innovation, exponential technologies and a drive to help make our cities more inclusive, resilient and future-fit. Read more about us here.