Tomorrow’s Cities Depend on Today’s Innovative Thinking

Posted March 2, 2010

By Tom A. Pedersen, Senior Vice President & Director of Sustainability, CDM

 

Tomorrow’s cities will be conceived, designed, developed, managed and governed by those who recognize that interdisciplinary approaches best address the complex challenges of the 21st century. Although population growth, social inequity, economic turmoil, climate change, water shortages and environmental degradation place unprecedented stress on our infrastructure and ecosystems, innovation in management, technological advances and volunteerism offer promise for the future.

These cities of the future will connect energy-efficient engineered infrastructure with green, water-centric landscapes to protect and conserve water resources, reduce energy intensity and associated carbon footprints, and improve economic vitality and quality of life. This paradigm shift, for newly created eco-cities and existing urban communities alike, necessitates innovative ways of conceptualizing urban infrastructure that move away from traditional practices of centralized, linear, once-through water and energy flow towards decentralized facilities and closed water and energy systems.

WEF and IWA have come together to advance the concepts of cities of the future and their inaugural conference will be held Cambridge, Massachusetts from March 7 – 10, 2010. Cities of the Future 2010, co-located with the Urban River Restoration conference on the banks of the Charles River, will afford unprecedented opportunities for interdisciplinary networking and discussion, and allow participants to visit two cities, Cambridge and Boston, which are implementing sustainable city concepts. The conference will bring together engineers, scientists, urban planners, sociologists, urban ecologists, architects, landscape architects, developers, transportation engineers, economists, political scientists, city managers and public officials who share a vision and a desire to work on approaches that will make sustainable urban centers a reality.

But what characterizes cities of the future? Is it the architecture of the buildings and structures? The efficiency of the transportation systems? The ubiquity of information technology? The access to clean energy? The effectiveness of public services? The “greenness” of the urban environment? The social consciousness of its inhabitants? In fact how one measures the sustainability of a city includes these and other factors but one that seems common for all cities of the future is water --- our most precious resource. 

 03/02/2010Permanent link

Tomorrow’s Cities Depend on Today’s Innovative Thinking  ()
 

Posted March 2, 2010

Tomorrow’s cities will be conceived, designed, developed, managed and governed by those who recognize that interdisciplinary approaches best address the complex challenges of the 21st century. Although population growth, social inequity, economic turmoil, climate change, water shortages and environmental degradation place unprecedented stress on our infrastructure and ecosystems, innovation in management, technological advances and volunteerism offer promise for the future.

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Tomorrow’s Cities Depend on Today’s Innovative Thinking

 Permanent link

Tomorrow’s Cities Depend on Today’s Innovative Thinking

Posted March 2, 2010

By Tom A. Pedersen, Senior Vice President & Director of Sustainability, CDM

 

Tomorrow’s cities will be conceived, designed, developed, managed and governed by those who recognize that interdisciplinary approaches best address the complex challenges of the 21st century. Although population growth, social inequity, economic turmoil, climate change, water shortages and environmental degradation place unprecedented stress on our infrastructure and ecosystems, innovation in management, technological advances and volunteerism offer promise for the future.

These cities of the future will connect energy-efficient engineered infrastructure with green, water-centric landscapes to protect and conserve water resources, reduce energy intensity and associated carbon footprints, and improve economic vitality and quality of life. This paradigm shift, for newly created eco-cities and existing urban communities alike, necessitates innovative ways of conceptualizing urban infrastructure that move away from traditional practices of centralized, linear, once-through water and energy flow towards decentralized facilities and closed water and energy systems.

WEF and IWA have come together to advance the concepts of cities of the future and their inaugural conference will be held Cambridge, Massachusetts from March 7 – 10, 2010. Cities of the Future 2010, co-located with the Urban River Restoration conference on the banks of the Charles River, will afford unprecedented opportunities for interdisciplinary networking and discussion, and allow participants to visit two cities, Cambridge and Boston, which are implementing sustainable city concepts. The conference will bring together engineers, scientists, urban planners, sociologists, urban ecologists, architects, landscape architects, developers, transportation engineers, economists, political scientists, city managers and public officials who share a vision and a desire to work on approaches that will make sustainable urban centers a reality.

But what characterizes cities of the future? Is it the architecture of the buildings and structures? The efficiency of the transportation systems? The ubiquity of information technology? The access to clean energy? The effectiveness of public services? The “greenness” of the urban environment? The social consciousness of its inhabitants? In fact how one measures the sustainability of a city includes these and other factors but one that seems common for all cities of the future is water --- our most precious resource. 

Posted by Julie Fuller at 03/02/2010 08:18:21 AM | 


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TomPedersen171Posted by:
Tom A. Pedersen, Senior Vice President & Director of Sustainability, CDM

Tom Pedersen, CDM Senior Vice President and Director of Sustainability, with over 30 years of experience has provided strategy, organizational development and environmental, health, safety and sustainability management system consulting services to a wide array of clients including Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd., Lucent Technologies, T3 Energy Services, PetroChina, Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority, Los Angeles World Airports, Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Lambert Field St. Louis Airport and Department of Homeland Security Custom and Borders Protection. As Director of Sustainability for CDM’s global operations encompassing over 4,000 employees in 100 offices worldwide, he is responsible for driving continual sustainability performance improvement in projects and operations and leading the development of CDM’s Sustainability Performance Report, internal Sustainability and CDM website, blog, Sustainability Delivery Team SharePoint portal, and Sustainapedia.

Tom has served on the ISO 14001 Environmental Management System (EMS) U.S. Technical Advisory Group (TAG) and the ISO 26000 Social Responsibility TAG. He is vice chair of the Water Environment Federation (WEF) Sustainability Community of Practice and Chair of the WEF EMS Committee. He received his BS from Cornell University in 1975 and MS in 1977 from the Pennsylvania State University.