Humanity has entered its urban age, with a rapidly growing majority of the population now living in cities. The ‘urban globe’ faces unprecedented social and environmental challenges. The chief danger is climate change, which threatens epic disruption and hardship. But there are related challenges to human health, biodiversity and the bedrocks of life – food, water, and energy. At the same time, new ‘smart’ technologies are proposing solutions to planetary problems.
One principal solution is apparent: our cities must become ecological cities if we want a sustainable world. Creating ecocities must now be a human priority. Australia, a nation of cities, is well-placed to contribute to this urgent global project.
In July 2017 Melbourne hosted the ECOCITY World Summit. The focus was on Changing Cities: Resilience and Transformations, highlighting the need to deploy expert knowledge – academic, professional, civic – to make cities resilient in the face of rapid change. The ECOCITY World Summit 2017 harnessed the expertise and developed the networks needed to create a world of ecocities.