An Introduction to Cities and Energy - Part of the CitiesWork series

Cities are big contributors to global warming and are also affected by it. Extraordinary weather events such as flooding already has an impact on many cities around the world.  It is vital that cities begin to assess their vulnerabilities and start building resilience now.  

Cities are also prone to the impact of resource constraints.  Reliance on fossil fuels as the primary energy source will require a transition to renewable energy to reduce this risk.  Fossil fuel dependence affects many sectors including food production and distribution, transport systems, urban planning, and the urban economy.  

Developing a more resilient food production system through urban agriculture and the protection of coastal land from salination and flooding is a vital priority for vulnerable cities.

Energy constraints suggest that urban economies should reduce their dependence on long supply chains by becoming more local while focussing on reducing emissions, aiming to become carbon neutral or carbon negative.  Energy usage needs to become much more efficient, particularly in the way buildings consume energy.  Household appliances also need to be more energy efficient.  

Simon Ratcliffe explores some of the issues urban planners and city management need to consider as part of their ongoing planning.