In cities, “global warming and its catastrophic consequences call for an urbanistic big bang”

Tribune. The COP26 has just ended with results, again, disappointing: if the “not to exceed 1.5 ° C” is reaffirmed, the UN announced, at the same time, a catastrophic warming of 2.7 ° C for the end of the century; no financial compensation commitment for poor countries; thematic agreements in principle on deforestation, methane, the end of the financing of fossil fuels, zero emission vehicles, etc.

In this great debate on the climate, the city and the urbanization of the planet, induced by fossil fuels, seem to be the blind spot of the reflection. These energies (coal, oil, gas) were however at the base of the creation of modern urban planning and of the planetary explosion of urbanization which accompanied world economic growth.

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This galloping urbanization, consequence and condition of growth, reinforced by globalization, has become today unsustainable. The threshold of 50% of the urbanized world population was reached in 2007, 60% today, from 75% to 80% in 2050: with eight billion urban dwellers in thirty years, urbanization will logically have to double to accommodate this new population.

The main source of GHG emissions

In France, the artificialization of soils swallows up the surface of a department every seven years, around 60,000 hectares disappear each year. If nothing is done against this urban sprawl, favored by fossil fuels, we expect the disappearance of 2.5 million hectares of agricultural land in 2060.

Artificialization of soils means irreversible ecological destruction of land. Global warming and its catastrophic consequences call for action commensurate with the perils, an urban big bang: total overhaul of the town planning practiced, revision of the land tenure mode, new relationships with the environment and a real transition policy energy and urban.

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By its form, its organization, its functioning, the current city, which consumes more than 75% of fossil fuels for its needs, is the main source of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (80%), impacting the climate. The last 2021 report of the High Council for the climate was entitled “Strengthen mitigation, initiate adaptation”.

Mitigation, through a long-term policy of reducing GHG emissions in all urban sectors and transitioning to renewable energies, to be developed through massive investments, to move towards a decarbonization of the economy in 2050. The contours of the future postcarbon city which will result from it, its form, its functioning (on green energies), its territorial organization, remain to be imagined (see the work of Alberto Magnaghi on the urban bioregion, 2014).

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In cities, “global warming and its catastrophic consequences call for an urbanistic big bang”

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