A panel of forward-thinking experts focuses on how to avoid sprawl and create "livable and lovable" communities
I haven't spent nearly as much time as I hope to with the resources on the website of the Philips Center for Health and Well-Being, but it has caught my eye, particularly for the attention paid there to "livable cities." The Center's perspective is international and intellectual, and includes a "multi-disciplinary panel of think tank experts."
Here's one of those experts, Olivier Piccolin, a senior vice president in charge of Philips's commercial lighting division:
Today, new factors demand we urgently change our view of cities and how they should evolve. First, the urban growth surge, spawning mega-cities in Asia and other emerging economies, is unlike anything experienced in history. Secondly, the ecological imperative of reducing urban consumption of carbon and other resources forces us to find accelerated solutions. And there's intense pressure on budgets to support the increasing demand for public services in cities, So we must find new definitions of what makes a successful city.
The Center's Livable Cities think tank has begun the task of defining how a fit-for-the- future city can be created and sustained, in emerging markets. So 'success' will not be judged solely in terms of economic growth and efficiency, but will include more subjective factors including social, economic and environmental resilience, and inclusiveness for all parts of the population and diversity--as well as remaining authentic during transition. Perhaps 'equal opportunity' or 'percentage of green spaces' will one day sit alongside GDP as a component in future rankings of successful cities.
The goal of the think tank is to develop and present extensive findings for presentation to mayors of the world's largest cities next year.