The survival of humanity on this planet relies on a radical repositioning of our cities. In the face of unprecedented global population growth, urbanization, pollution increase and climate change, it is no longer enough to simply create buildings that minimize their environmental footprint. The reduction of operating and embodied energy consumption in every single building is, of course, vitally important – but even this is likely not enough to mitigate the huge issues at stake. We need to start considering how every building can start working with others in a harmonious urban whole – by maximizing urban/building infrastructure, sharing resources, generating and storing energy, and looking for completely new ways to improve the building’s contribution to the city; physically, environmentally, culturally, and socially.
This will be the primary subject of debate at the CTBUH 2014 Shanghai Conference. The discussion will drive thinking beyond just buildings, to considering cities as a whole.
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