Thriving: Making Cities Green, Resilient, and Inclusive in a Changing Climate

  • 24 May 2023

Recently, the World Bank released a report, titled "Thriving: Making Cities Green, Resilient, and Inclusive in a Changing Climate”.

The report highlights the critical role of cities in tackling the global climate challenge.

Key findings of the report are:

  • Urbanization and Emissions: The world's population increasingly resides in cities due to rapid urbanization. Cities account for about 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions, with the number of urban dwellers rising from 1.19 billion to 4.46 billion between 1970 and 2021.
  • Carbon Emissions Disparities: Cities in high and upper-middle-income countries have the highest per capita fossil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, while cities in low-income countries have the lowest. North American cities are the largest per capita emitters, whereas Sub-Saharan African cities exhibit the lowest emissions on average.
  • Climate Hazards and Vulnerabilities: Low and lower-middle-income cities, despite contributing only 14% of global urban CO2 emissions, face the most severe climate-related hazards such as floods, heat stress, cyclones, sea-level rise, water stress, and wildfires.
  • Green Urban Planning Strategies: The report emphasizes the urgent need for cities to adopt integrated green urban planning strategies. These strategies should address interconnected challenges and include investments in green space and sustainable infrastructure.
  • Urban Population Growth: The urban population is projected to grow by 2.5 billion by 2050, leading to increased strain on urban water resources and infrastructure. Protecting and restoring ecosystems, especially forests, is crucial for urban resilience and water security.
  • Inclusiveness and Resilience: Lack of inclusiveness contributes to cities' vulnerability in low and lower-middle-income countries. Adopting a different development path that promotes compact and connected urban development is essential for both climate action and poverty reduction.
  • Recommendations for Policymakers: The report provides a set of recommendations for policymakers to help cities become greener, more resilient, and inclusive. These recommendations include information dissemination, incentives, insurance coverage, integration, and investments.