The challenges to urban sustainability and resilience: what cities need to prepare for


Newton, Peter W.; Doherty, Peter


Perhaps the single most important challenge for the 21st century is to work towards a more resilient and sustainable world. In this global strategic context, resilience concerns the capacity of a system---be it natural, built, social or economic---to manage change, learn from difficult situations and be in a position to rebound after experiencing some significant stress or shock, while sustainability questions whether or not certain aspects of our daily activities, and the systems within which they operate, can be continued indefinitely into the future, again from a social, economic and environmental perspective. With a prediction that 75% of an estimated global population of 9 billion will live in urban environments by 2050, cities will clearly play a large role in determining whether the world will be a more sustainable place several decades hence than is currently the case. An ever-growing catalogue of reports highlights a list of critical issues for cities that will inevitably intensify by mid-century. The need is to start confronting these now with a process of concerted, well-considered actions. In this chapter we seek to briefly highlight some of the issues and what might be done---with particular reference to Australia---as a context for framing the urban challenge.

Publication year


Publication type

Book chapter


Resilient sustainable cities: a future / Peter Roberts, Peter W. Newton and Leonie Pearson (eds.), Chapter 2


Taylor and Francis




Copyright © 2014.