New Urban Landscapes: Development with a Sustainable Twist

Sarah Fister Gale

Executive Summary

There are now more than 7 billion people in the world and that number is expected to jump to 9.4 billion in less than 40 years, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. As the population grows, so too does the mass migration from the countryside to cities, particularly in developing nations. This article discusses how project teams are reimagining urban development to alleviate the massive strain on cities' infrastructure, construction, energy, and IT demands. In doing so, it explains how project leaders must learn to balance complex space constraints, resource limitations, and demanding stakeholders to deliver massive sustainable urban-development projects. It reports the results of a 2011 report, conducted by the United Nations, showing that cities will account for 73 percent of the world's energy consumption, and a study by the National Academy of Sciences that predicts by 2050, one billion urban dwellers will face perennial water shortages. It explores how cities must look at implementing circular rather than linear systems that regenerate resources through actions, such as collecting rainwater, repurposing lightly used water for flushing toilets, and heating buildings with methane gas. The article highlights the Brazilian city of Curitiba for its long-term planning and sustainable designs, specifically its high-speed bus system. In addition, it…

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