"Cities and Climate": issues faced by major cities worldwide

© kurosuke - stock.adobe.com

Germany is exploring how to make cities sustainable and is seeking exchange with drivers of innovation around the world.

Where are the cities of the future to be found? “All over the world” might be the answer, as all kinds of different cities will play a key part in global development. “Cities are where the climate battle will largely be won or lost”, believes United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres.

Urban growth

Cities are already home to half the world’s population, a proportion that the United Nations predicts will rise to two thirds by the year 2050. Cities are responsible for over two thirds of global energy consumption, and account for more than 70 percent of carbon emissions. At the same time, as centres of education, research and entrepreneurship, cities are also where innovations crystallise.

Prof. Dr. Peter-André Alt, Präsident der Hochschulrektorenkonferenz
"I believe that the annual focus topic is highly relevant to global politics and of extreme scientific importance. It will allow the involvement of virtually all disciplines in higher education and will undoubtedly foster both interdisciplinary and international collaboration in an area that is of immediate importance for the majority of the world’s population."
Prof Dr Peter-André Alt, President of the German Rectors’ Conference (HRK)

At their respective locations in New York, São Paulo, Moscow, New Delhi and Tokyo, the German Centres for Research and Innovation (DWIH) provide an unique broad-based network of institutions and allow experts from Germany to engage in an exchange with their colleagues in the DWIH host countries. The five global cities that are home to the DWIH all have their own particular relevance to the DWIH’s 2020 focus topic of “Cities and Climate”.

The DWIH Board of Trustees selected this annual focus topic with a view to taking full advantage of the strengths of this global network via a tailormade programme of activities. This importance will be reflected by the DWIH in their events and in the information and dialogues that they make continuously available. After all, it is quite clear not only in all DWIH host countries but also in Germany that urban development is one of the keys to a sustainable future.

Skyline von New York mit dem Empire State Building im Vordergrund. © gettyimages/Alexander Spatari
DWIH New York

Urban engagement

Even if the Paris Climate Agreement is politically controversial in the USA, ambitious programmes are underway in America’s major cities to promote sustainable urban development – and this is particularly true of New York’s energy transition targets.

Blick auf die Kabelbrücke in Sao Paulo. © iStockphoto
DWIH São Paulo

Business and global climate

The brazilian rainforests have an huge importance for our climate. At the same time, bright scientific and business leaders in Brazil are exploring ways to ensure the sustainable development of the country’s cities. This is the case especially in São Paulo, an industrial metropolis that is influenced to an unusually high degree by German companies.

Blick auf das Moskauer International Business Center. © gettyimages/Max Ryazanov
DWIH Moscow

A wealth of expertise

Russia’s academic expertise in the fields of science and technology is urgently needed in the fight against climate change. Innovation centres such as Skolkovo near Moscow make it clear that there is a lot more to discover than just oil and natural gas in Russia, the world’s largest country by area.

Der Lotus-Tempel in Neu-Delhi. © gettyimages/Mohan Singh
DWIH New Delhi

Pushing for change

Business and science are increasingly joining forces in India with a view to achieving the objectives of a sustainable development agenda. New Delhi and other cities are urgently searching for responses to urban challenges such as smog, global warming and population growth.

Tokyo Tower und Stadtviertel Minato-ku © iStockphoto
DWIH Tokyo

Modern networks

Japan attributes particularly high importance to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations – and smart urbanisation is an issue that is very much in vogue at present in Tokyo. Anyone seeking partners in areas such as network modernisation and innovative energy storage systems can quickly find what they are looking for in Japan.