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Megatrends, emerging issues and outlooks


was to “meet or exceed Kyoto Protocol targets for reducing global warming (US Mayors 2008). The mayors also played a key role in the successful result at the 21st Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Paris.


A comprehensive assessment of major infrastructure in the US, developed by the American Society of Civil Engineers, indicated an overall grade for the country is D+ with estimates as high as USD 3.6 trillion in order to significantly raise the status and quality of this major infrastructure (ASCE 2013). The situation is similar in Canada, where it was reported that about 30 per cent of municipal infrastructure is between fair and very poor quality (Félio 2012). This calls for strong emphasis on redevelopment that focuses on novel, longer-term and more sustainable solutions that are ready for climate change, rather than conventional solutions that merely repeat past mistakes.


Over the past two decades, cities have become critical sites for implementing climate change policy.


Shortly


after the 1988 Toronto Conference On the Changing Atmosphere helped place climate change on the national and international policy agendas, Toronto became the first city to establish a municipal emissions reduction target (Bulkeley and Betsill 2003; Lambright et al. 1996). Focused on leading by example, Transnational municipal networks such as the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives (ICLEI) Cities for Climate Protection Programme, the Climate Alliance and Energy Cities, helped link these cities through the sharing of best practices and by advancing a model of climate governance heavily focused on model of measuring emissions, setting targets, and developing and implementing climate action plans (Hoffmann 2011; Kern and Bulkeley 2009; Betsill and Bulkeley 2004). There are many opportunities for cities in North America to collaborate with cities in other places, such as Europe, through networks such as 100 Resilient Cities, World Cities Network, Sustainable Cities Network.


In North America, smart cities also plan to increase their resilience. The concept of ‘smart cities’ reflects a concern with efficiency matched to community well-being.


This enables the efficient use of resources to repair and maintain infrastructure, and using the latest innovations and technologies to provide the necessary community services. The need to pool ideas, share best practices and apply intelligent design to urban planning lies behind the Rockefeller Foundation’s ‘100 Resilient


Cities’ initiative.


North American cities chosen so far through a competition to be part of this initiative include: Berkeley, Boston, Boulder, Chicago, Dallas, El Paso, Jacksonville, Los Angeles, Montreal, New Orleans, New York, Norfolk, Oakland, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, San Juan, St. Louis and Tulsa. The initiative Peg provides an on-line platform for collating, interpreting and sharing information that allows citizens to learn what is changing in their city.


Portland, Oregon, is a case in point. In 1993, Portland, Oregon, was the first city in the US to create a local action plan for cutting carbon. Since then, the City of Portland and Multnomah County have collaborated to produce updated climate plans that help guide the design and implementation of city and county efforts to reduce carbon emissions ( Figure 4.3.1).


Through such local efforts and global efforts like the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group (Gordon 2013), urban greenhouse gas emissions may be on a downward trajectory at least in some parts of the world. But looking ahead, the long-term trend of reducing emissions across all of the world’s major urban areas is unknown. The recent Paris Agreement has added momentum. Also, through state-level efforts, such as Cal-Adapt, tools and data are being developed to assist localities. Innovation and leadership at the city level is likely to continue as a trend in North America when it comes to addressing environmental concerns and making progress on many fronts.


4.3.2 Sustainable transportation


The transportation of people and goods underpins North American society. Transportation is a major source of both greenhouse gases and conventional air pollution. A more efficient, integrated transportation system that does


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