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 and Director of Sustainability, CDM
 

Tom Pedersen, a senior vice president and director of sustainability for CDM Smith, has more than 36 years of environmental consulting experience. He has been involved in advancing
infrastructure sustainability through his participation in workshops and conferences sponsored by the Zofnass Program for Sustainable Infrastructure at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and in his former role as chair of the American Council of Engineering Companies Infrastructure Sustainability Committee, the Institute for Sustainability Infrastructure
Professional Development Committee, and the WEF Sustainability Community of Practice. Tom is an accredited Envision™ Sustainability Professional and is involved in applying the Envision infrastructure sustainability rating system on client projects.

Mr. Pedersen received an master's degree from the Pennsylvania State University in 1977 and a bachelor's degree from Cornell University in 197. He is an American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists board-certified environmental scientist by eminence in sustainability science.

 


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