The Urban Institute and the Asian Development Bank jointly hosted a roundtable discussion on Urbanization in Asia: Facing Climate Change and Growth. The roundtable took place at the Urban Instititute in Washington, DC, on Thursday, August 30, 2012.
The ADB recently launched Green Urbanization in Asia, documenting the good news of growth and urbanization in Asia and the unsettling impact that this will have on climate gases. Managing urbanization in a way that will minimize changes in climate presents an extraordinary challenge for leaders in this fast growing region, revealed by two key facts:
Between 2000 and 2008, the average per capita greenhouse gas emissions grew by 97% in Asia compared with only 18% in the rest of the world, with most emissions coming from urban areas.
At the same time, from 1980 to 2010, Asia added more than a billion people to its cities—more than all other regions combined—and another billion are set to become city dwellers by 2040.
Key questions addressed during the roundtable included: How is Asia different in the climate challenges it faces? Are patterns of urbanization in Asia an opportunity? How will leaders in Asia organize urban systems, policies, and finances to adapt to and mitigate climate change?
Guanghua Wan, Principal Economist at the Asian Development Bank and co-author of the ADB report shared highlights of the analysis and discussed the challenges with the Urban Institute’s Innovation in Infrastructure program leader, Dr. Sandra Rosenbloom, USAID's Sustainable Urban Services specialist Nancy Convard and with roundtable participants. Charles Cadwell, director of UI’s Center on International Development and Governance moderated the discussion.