June 20, 2011

Power of Asia: Urban Leap-Frogging In Asian Cities

"Our country is planning to build more cities than humanity has ever built - could you advise us?" This question was put to us by a high-level Chinese delegate.

In fact, Asia as a whole is embarked on the largest urban programme in the history of mankind - with high stakes for the whole world.

Cities cover 2% of the earth's crust but host more than 50% of the world's population, account for 75% of energy consumption and are responsible for up to 80% of carbon-dioxide emissions. The way we run our cities today will determine how well - or how badly - our planet will do tomorrow.

In Asia, there are great differences between large, top-down planned developments, such as those in China, and cities growing in a more organic, bottom-up manner, such as Jakarta, Bangkok or Mumbai.
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