- James Cook University.
More people are living in cities than ever before, and by the middle of this century, most of those will likely be living in a tropical city. Over the past 5 years tropical cities grew by 80,000 people every day compared with by 50,000 people outside the tropics. Tropical cities such as Mumbai, Jakarta, Lagos and Quito face some of the most pressing urban sustainability challenges of our time. In addition to growing populations, by their very nature, tropical cities face a unique set of challenges associated with planning, sanitation, water, extreme events and heat waves. Furthermore, climate change will mean that communities near the equator will experience climatic conditions that have not existed throughout human history. Latitudinal expansion of the tropics is set to bring tropical challenges to more regions. Combined with planning challenges (nearly 500 million people live in tropical slums) and the ecological footprint of growing cities alongside diverse and unique ecosystems, an intensifying tropical region presents formidable challenges. How such challenges are addressed in the tropics will be critical to the successful implementation of the New Urban Agenda. Recognition of the unique issues faced by the tropical cities and the need for solutions generated for and by tropical nations will be essential. Drawing on information collated for the State of the Tropics project, this event will bring together a panel of experts to discuss the future of tropical cities and highlight initiatives and strategies to increase sustainability, prosperity and equality.