An urban planet – are we ready?

In this seminar of the 2013 Fenner Forum Series, we examined the challenges and opportunities an increasingly urbanizing world brings about, and the skills that are required to effectively respond to them.

The world is experiencing an unprecedented transition in human settlement. According to the UN prediction, by 2030, more than 60% of the world population will be urban dwellers. More than 95% of the net increase of global population by 2050 will be added into cities of the developing world. In Australia, more than 90% of Australian population are already living in cities.

What kind of challenges will be awaiting us down the road? What are the new opportunities arising? Are we ready for an urban planet, e.g. do we have sufficient scientific understanding of our cities as complex social ecological systems? Do we have the capacity to effectively plan, manage and govern our cities? What kind of skills is required, and how can our education and training systems meet the challenge?