Today, over half the world’s population lives in cities. This share is expected to rise to 68%, or nearly 7 billion people, by 2050. Material consumption is expected to grow on a business-as-usual pathway, with buildings already accounting for 30% of global energy consumption and 28% of energy-related carbon emissions. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought into sharp focus the unsustainability of current urbanization models for human and planetary health. However, cities also fuel the global economy and are, therefore, crucial to the economic and social recovery from COVID-19.
As societies emerge from this crisis, increasing urban resilience and improving the lives and well-being of city dwellers will be critical to boosting economic and citizen confidence. According to the World Economic Forum’s Future of Nature and Business Report, a nature-positive pathway in the infrastructure and built environment could create over $3 trillion in business opportunities and create 117 million jobs by 2030.
To realize this potential and reimagine cities, the World Economic Forum is collaborating with the Government of Colombia on a new global initiative that will support city governments, businesses and citizens around the world to create an urban development model that is in harmony with nature: BiodiverCities by 2030.
By curating a high-level commission of 25 world-renowned experts and practitioners from the public and private sectors, academia and civil society, the BiodiverCities by 2030 initiative combines the latest research with practical solutions in the service of sustainable, inclusive and nature-positive urban development. The Global Commission on BiodiverCities will advise on the development of a shared concept, framework and forward-looking perspective to integrate cities with nature.
The initiative will use artificial intelligence and crowdsourcing technologies through the Forum’s Strategic Intelligence and UpLink platforms, collecting up-to-date online content and building a community of innovators and entrepreneurs to address the world’s most pressing challenges on nature and cities.
The BiodiverCities by 2030 initiative is convened in partnership by the World Economic Forum and the Government of Colombia.