Greentech Alliance’s Industry Spotlight Series highlights members across all sectors represented in our community, with the aim of bringing great awareness to the sustainability challenges of the current and future generations. This is the fourth blog in the series. View our previous blogs via the links below:

Industry Spotlight #1: Biodiversity and Conservation

Industry Spotlight #2: Plastic Waste Solutions

Industry Spotlight #3: Innovative Solar Solutions

Industry Spotlight #4: Sustainable Fashion

Industry Spotlight #5: Alternative Protein & Sustainable Food Supply Chains

Over 56 percent of people worldwide live in urban areas—a number that’s expected to grow to 68 percent by 2050. And just as urban areas everywhere expand, so too will megacities—urban areas with populations of 10 million or more. Many of these megacities—now and in the future—are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change: extreme heat, severe weather, sea level rise, etc. Moreover, high waste generation, long distances between locations of food production and consumption, and large gaps in equality and citizen participation raise broader sustainability concerns in urban areas.

But some of the same features that make cities vulnerable can also make them resilient. Tightly packed commercial and residential spaces are prime test beds for efficient electricity generation, heat distribution, and peer-to-peer energy trading. New architectural designs can serve as adaptive measures for extreme rain and wind while doubling as recreation spaces on mild days. And new digital tools can collect data from urban landscapes to plan better traffic routes, map connected urban green spaces, and ultimately build more inclusive cities.

Greentech Alliance members are working on the solutions that leverage the benefits of urban life to make cities more resilient. They recognize that sustainability challenges don’t just come from climate change or plastic waste. Issues of citizen participation, economic inequality, and gender and racial diversity must also be addressed to build truly sustainable cities.

This month – in honor of World Cities Day – we asked our companies working on various facets of urban sustainability about their vision for a sustainable city and how they’re working to achieve it. Members shared solutions ranging from circular food systems and spatial analytics to urban forests and electric mobility. Together, they build a comprehensive roadmap to sustainable urban development through ecosystem preservation, novel technologies, partnership-building, advocacy, and more.

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