0.1Cities and urban areas will house nearly all of the world’s net population growth over the next two decades with 1.4 million people added to urban areas each week (UN 2014), equal to roughly the population of Stockholm. Cities are engines of national and global growth, accounting for 80 percent of global economic output. In China, four city clusters account for nearly half of China’s GDP (Shao et al. 2006). Cities are also key drivers of global energy demand and greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for around 70 percent of both (IEA 2008). Meanwhile, urban land area could triple globally from 2000 to 2030 (Seto et al. 2012). This is equivalent to adding an area larger than Manhattan every day. Accelerating urban development boosts private consumption (Dobbs et al. 2008) and requires significant infrastructure, including carbon intensive manufacturing and construction consuming massive quantities of concrete and steel consumption, particularly in the early phases of urbanization (Wang 2007).
1.2Median age by country for 2015. A youth bulge is evident for Africa and to a lesser extent for South and Southeast Asia and Central America. Source: Jerker Lokrantz/Azote, modified after UN Factbook.
3.1Urban population by community size for cities of five unique sizes. Note that smaller cities/communities of 500,000 inhabitants or less will continue to house the majority (approximately 50 percent) of the world’s urban population. Source: Jerker Lokrantz/Azote, modified after Chávez (2017).
3.2Conceptual diagram of urban metabolism. A proportion of the resources that flow into cities become urban stock, while others enable and drive various anthropogenic functions and eventually produce intended or unintended outputs that stay within the system boundary or are exported beyond the boundary, with various impacts on the physical environment, flora and fauna, and associated ecological processes. Urban metabolism is shaped and regulated by factors such as urban policy, urban governance, culture, and individual behaviors. Source: Jerker Lokrantz/Azote, modified after Bai (2016).
4.2Urban risk. This conceptual diagram shows urban risk not only as a result of hazard exposure and vulnerability, but also as shaped by five interacting development domains: sociodemographic, economic, technological, ecological, and governance. These domains operate within a wider context of interactions between environment and society. Source: Romero-Lankao and Gnatz 2016 modified after Field et al. 2012. Design Jerker Lokrantz/Azote
5.1Broad determinants of health. Urban health experts now know that the built, physical, social, and economic environments are crucial factors in maintaining and improve health. Source: Jerker Lokrabtz/Azote.
6.4Changes in the Gini coefficient, as well as the differential between the salaries earned by the richest and the poorest 10 percent (a metric called D10/D1) in Bogotá between 1991 and 2010. Source: Jerker Lokrantz/Azote, modified after UN-Habitat (2014).
9.1UN Summit Adopts Post-2015 Development Agenda. A view of the General Assembly Hall following the adoption of the post-2015 development agenda by the UN summit convened for that purpose. Source: UN Photo/Cia Pak, New York, 2015.
16.1Macroscale systemic change typically emerges from a long period of preparation that entails experimentation, innovation, and the formation of new coalitions at the micro-level. Proto-regimes that emerge from this preparatory phase typically only become institutionalized at a meso-level once a window of opportunity emerges in the form of a crisis or anticipated crisis. Our understanding of how these meso-level regimes can then effect larger-scale systemic change is still limited. The symbols indicate new configurations, where the social and ecological components of the system are connected in new ways. Source: Authors’ own.
16.2Attributes of 120 urban relevant seeds from the Seeds of the Good Anthropocene database. These seeds are classified across five categories based on a) what type of action a seed is encouraging (stopping, reforming, or innovating activities); b) the status of the seed (prototype, implemented, or a well-established project); c) which “anthrome” or social-ecological system the seed is oriented towards; d) what types of challenge of the Anthropocene the seed addresses; and e) the type of social-ecological integration the seed represents. The sum is greater than 100 percent because some categories are not mutually exclusive.
47.2Section of a drawing by Colectivo Bogotá Pinta Cerros, 2017. Citizens who participated printed their feelings for the mountains of the region with a 12-hand watercolor in 16 plates of 11.2 meters, representing the 57 kilometers of mountains near the city.
S.3Urban system structure and interlinkages. The symbols represent various actors/constituents, structure, and processes across physical/built, social/economics, and ecological subsystems. The arrows represent complex processes and linkages within and between cities, and between cities and their hinterlands. The actors and constituents are typically self-organizing, and the structure, processes, and linkages and functions are dynamic and evolving, with nonlinear pathways. Source: Bai et al. 2016a.
S.4Conceptualization of the interlinkages between factors and dynamic processes shaping urban futures. Visions are represented as societal goals influenced by worldviews, value systems, politics and power, culture and choices, and play an important role in intervention, innovations, and transformation that can lead to alternative and more desirable urban futures. Source: McPhearson et al. 2017, modified from Bai 2016b.