“As cities grow, so does the demand on water, food and energy resources. Today, cities consume 66% of the world’s total energy and this could increase by 80% over the next 30 years. Urbanisation will have a huge influence on energy demand, efficiency and sustainability, and will directly affect our quality of life.
“Urbanisation is affecting us in big ways and its up to our businesses, governments and communities to work together to understand the benefits of a cleaner, more energy-efficient future. Planning for the future is critical, and it’s also achievable,” he said.
In reference to industry guest speakers from Thailand’s Urban Design and Development Center (Uddc) and Bangkok-based global design and architecture firm Marques & Jordy, Dr. Khong pointed out there are already organisations in Bangkok who are focused on developing and implementing plans for higher quality of life for Thai people that bring together innovation, competitive economies and sustainable environments.
“It’s inspiring to see there are organisations like UddC and Marques & Jordy who are passionate about sustainable design and environments that take into consideration the challenges Bangkok and Thailand has had in the past and applying these lessons for future, sustainable implementation, while also looking at the quality of life Thai people desire and the unique cultural aspects that make Thailand what it is.”
Dr. Khong said the report highlights how today’s choices and actions can lead to tomorrow’s success and better management of urbanization challenges, particularly for burgeoning cities like Bangkok.
“Despite the many differences between cities around the world, best practice around urban development and how to manage it does exist. Compact, densely-populated, well-planned cities with effective integrated infrastructure and services are more resource-efficient. With appropriate attention, they can also be attractive places to live. Careful planning would help achieve a more efficient, integrated use of resources that places urban design at the heart of efforts to encourage and engineer greater resilience in those systems and services that will be essential to our future wellbeing and prosperity,” he said.
After studying more than 500 urban centres, including megacities with over 10 million residents, the New Lenses on Future Cities report groups cities into six archetypes indicating where energy use is most concentrated and where future urbanisation is set to take place.