Digitalisation and climate change are two closely interlinked transitions that will define how cities evolve over the coming decades. Climate neutral cities of the future will be made possible by new digital transport and energy infrastructure, and the transition to a circular economy driven by greater data availability.
Since cities are the level of government that is closest to the people, with direct understanding of their needs, they are well-placed to engage citizens and other relevant stakeholders in these interlinked challenges.
As climate leaders, hubs of the digital economy and home to over 50% of the world’s population, cities can also act as microcosms of the wider ecosystem of society and drive innovations that would help to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve resilience to extreme climate events.
National and regional government should be responsible for ensuring that a comprehensive set of support functions is in place to enable city authorities to carry out the vital task of delivering the twin digital and climate transitions.
National governments will also need to mandate other delivery bodies such as digital and energy regulators and network operators to work with city authorities to ensure consistency between city plans and national infrastructure on the way to climate neutrality.
This briefing was originally published by CIDOB – Barcelona Conference for International Affairs. For more information click here.