Robert Muggah: The biggest risks facing cities -- and some solutions
Robert Muggah - Megacities expert
Robert Muggah creates tools to understand cycles of violence in urban environments and opens dialogues on ways to confront them globally. Full bio
experiment in social engineering
urban population does --
wealthier, better educated
are moving to cities
they're dynamic, they're democratic,
to reactionary nationalism.
of the world's surface area,
of our energy consumption,
of our greenhouse gases.
of people who die in our cities
as a result of car accidents
cities on the planet.
have chronic water shortages --
of the known water reserves.
in the West and the Far East,
about the thousands of cities
population growth is set to take place.
through the lens of nation-states.
in a 17th-century paradigm
coming into their own,
of the world's population
closer to 70 percent.
that are beginning to rival them
of 80 billion dollars.
than Argentina and Australia,
police departments in the world,
the largest nation-states.
their weight economically,
their political voice
a little bit about the risks
about some of the solutions.
using a big data visualization
CREATE Lab and my institute,
not as made up of nation-states,
of a quarter million people or more.
the more fragile that city is,
the more resilient.
the social contract comes unstuck.
of multiple kinds of risks:
cyclones and earthquakes.
are more fragile than others.
a permanent condition.
fragile cities in the world,
around the national average.
that fragility is deepening,
that are most vulnerable,
way beyond scales we've ever seen before.
they can collapse,
refugees in the world today,
since the second world war.
you might read in the news,
aren't fleeing from poor countries
into even poorer cities --
represents an agonizing story
about what's not on that map,
who have been internally displaced
in refugee-like conditions,
protection and assistance.
in its history between 2007 and 2010.
and 85 percent of its livestock
over a million people moved into cities
of social unrest.
began cracking down,
internally displaced people,
to neighboring countries like Jordan
towards Western Europe.
made the perilous journey
and up through Turkey
into two countries, primarily:
of the world's cities are coastal.
flood-prone coastal areas.
that shows sea level rise
that we're going to see
and 30 feet of sea level rise
that are going to suffer --
or the Solomons or Sri Lanka --
people or more
the face of this earth.
or they're going to die.
all the way over to the West,
in Asia or Africa or Latin America,
is one of the wealthiest cities
by natural disasters throughout 2017.
on porous limestone -- a swamp.
the water from seeping in.
and along the Gulf,
worst from natural crises --
as those situations have been,
for what's to come.
to its rural hinterland
to the production of food.
of the Amazon, in Rondônia.
terrestrial carbon sinks,
every single year.
over a 30-year period.
cleared for pasture, for cattle,
on a massive scale.
of forest over the last 14 years.
there's not much --
as the situation is -- and it is --
to the municipal level,
a lattice -- of parks and protected areas.
and not always limiting encroachment,
to tamp back deforestation.
but all across the Americas,
and around the world.
at the highest levels,
of the Paris Climate Agreement,
and thousands more around the world
on so-called "undocumented migrants"
and states sat up in defiance
to see a lot more of it,
and Latin America are urbanizing
the global average
on infrastructure and services.
in the next 10 to 20 years,
principles of resilience into our cities.
that are emerging.
of urban planners,
principles keep coming out.
don't actually have a plan
to think ahead strategically.
from the book of Singapore.
a 50-year urban strategy
is not just the importance of continuity,
of autonomy and discretion.
to be able to issue debt,
than a devolution revolution,
renegotiating the terms of the contract
global decarbonization efforts.
and bikeways and walkways
they have to choose from.
in renewables -- in solar and wind --
in Western Europe and parts of Asia.
right now in the world today
complete energy autonomy.
comes from Medellín,
its local needs,
back onto the national grid.
other cities just like it.
and multi-use solutions.
that are going to invest in solutions
but that solve multiple problems.
emissions and congestion.
over the last 30 years,
of Seoul's residents get to work
public transport systems
how to build resiliently,
of Dallas-Fort Worth.
also doubled over the last 30 years.
into edge cities and suburbia
to work using public transport -- five.
some of the longest commuting times
to leapfrog to get there.
that's doing a lot of stealing,
is only going to be enabled
from one another.
inner-city coalitions in the world today.
Parliament of Mayors,
that has gathered thousands together
is that when cities work together,
but on the global stage.
potentially, a vote --
on their national sovereignty,
that the local and the global
our politics accordingly.
and meet mayors and civic leaders,
enthusiasm and effectiveness
institutions are paralyzed
a right to -- a seat at the table.
About the speaker:Robert Muggah - Megacities expert
Robert Muggah creates tools to understand cycles of violence in urban environments and opens dialogues on ways to confront them globally.
Why you should listen
Robert Muggah drills down through shadowy data on arms trafficking, urban violence and resilience in search of answers for a rapidly urbanizing society’s most troubling questions: Why are cities so violent, and increasingly fragile? Why are conflicts within nations replacing conflicts between them? And what strategies can we implement to reduce violence?
Muggah's high-tech toolkit includes new ways for citizens to collect, collate and understand data, such as the mapping arms data (MAD) tool. As the research director of the Igarapé Institute and the SecDev Foundation, he developed the tool in collaboration with the Peace Research Institute Oslo and with Google Ideas, winning accolades for the transparency it brings to the debate.
Robert Muggah | Speaker | TED.com