Urban areas are on the rise and changing rapidly in form and function, with spillover effects on virtually all areas of the Earth. The UN estimates that by 2050, 68% of the world’s population will reside in urban areas. In the inaugural issue of npj Urban Sustainability, a new Nature Partner Journal out today, a team of leading urban ecologists outlines a practical checklist to guide interventions, strategies, and research that better position urban systems to meet urgent sustainability goals.
Co-author Steward Pickett of Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies explains, "Urban areas shape demographics, socio-economic processes, urban form, technologies, and the environment—both near and far. As the world becomes more urbanized, what we do in cities will be key to achieving global sustainability goals.There is great potential, but achieving it will require integrating knowledge, methods, and expertise from different disciplines to advance global urban science that catalyzes discovery and innovation."