PUBLICATIONS //

CITIES AND SUSTAINABLE INFRASTRUCTURE POLICY SNAPSHOT

Global City Indicators Facility at the Global Cities Institute and ENGIE

With the rapid rate of global city growth and the concurrent demand for improved infrastructure and city services, pressure has never been greater on city leaders and managers to make smart policy and planning decisions focusing on sustainable, smart and resilient infrastructure.  As today’s investment shapes the cities of tomorrow,  infrastructure investment must balance the social, economic, and environmental needs of today with what will be needed fifty years from now.  

 

In this report, GCIF, in partnership with ENGIE identify the factors that should be considered when developing and delivering sustainable infrastructure in cities and the corresponding financing options and necessary tools.  

DATA, BOUNDARIES, COMPETITIVENESS: THE TORONTO URBAN REGION IN GLOBAL CONTEXT

Global City Indicators Facility (GCIF), December 2013

The GCIF Aggregation Report, “Data Boundaries, Competitiveness: The Toronto Urban Region in a Global Context,” was released at the GCIF Ontario Roundtable on Municipal Data on December 10th, 2013. The report highlights the need for aggregated data, the importance of competitive regions and the results and findings from the GCIF Aggregation Pilot Exercise with Ontario municipalities. The work in defining what GCIF has termed the “Toronto Urban Region” is also detailed.

CITIES AND AGEING POLICY SNAPSHOT

Global City Indicators Facility (GCIF) and Philips

By 2050, for the first time in human history, there will be more older people in the world than children under 14 years of age. By that same year, 70 percent of the world population will be urbanized. In this report, GCIF, in partnership with Philips, examine the implications of these two converging global demographic trends and the policy and planning challenges associated with “age friendly cities.”

WHY CITIES? WHY METRICS?

Patricia McCarney, 2013

Director of Global Cities Institute

Department of Political Science, University of Toronto

As cities worldwide take centre stage in the sustainable development and prosperity of nations, the need for globally comparable data and knowledge on cities has never been greater. Whereas only 10 percent of the world’s population lived in cities in 1900, urbanization is a defining phenomenon of the 21st century.  By 2050, 75 percent of the world population will be urbanized. Cities produce greater than 75 percent of global GDP and are home to 3.8 billion citizens, Evidence based decision-making, facilitated by sound data is invaluable in maneuvering through this demographic transition. 

WHY DO CITIES GROW?

David Bristow & Christopher Kennedy, August 2013

Department of Civil Engineering, University of Toronto

Many natural processes within the Earth system exist in non-equilibrium thermodynamic states. When an open system is subject to an increasing input of high quality energy (i.e., of a high capacity to do work – a high quantity of exergy) it will develop new structure so as to maximize the rate of energy dissipation and increase entropy production. This is relevant to a fundamental question for the emerging science of cities: Why do cities grow?

A FOUNDATION ONTOLOGY FOR GLOBAL CITY INDICATORS

Mark S. Fox, June 2013

Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Toronto

This paper lays a foundation for building an ontology on city indicators. The goal is to formalize the definition of city indicators as developed by the Global City Indicators Facility using the technology of Ontologies as implemented in the Semantic Web. This will reduce the ambiguity of interpretation; take indicators out of the realm of humans and into the realm of computers where the world of Big Data, open source software, mobile apps, etc., can be applied to analyze and interpret the data; and, achieve interoperability, namely the ability to access, understand, merge and use indicator data available from datasets spread across the web.

SOCIOECONOMIC PATHWAYS AND REGIONAL DISTRIBUTION OF THE WORLD'S 101 LARGEST CITIES

Daniel Hoornweg (a) & Kevin Pope (b), January 2014

(a) University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT)

(b) Memorial University of Newfoundland

Regional trends in population, urbanization, resource availability and scarcity, as well as economic growth and decline are often best observed in the largest cities (urban areas). Typically, large cities are early adopters to regional opportunities for growth and development. This paper examines the effect of socioeconomic pathways on the regional population distribution of the world's 101 largest cities in the 21st century. City populations are provided for 2010, 2025, 2050, 2075, and 2100. Socioeconomic pathways, with various levels of sustainability and global cooperation are assessed based on their influence on the world's largest cities. The results of this paper provide valuable insights into the effect of sustainable development on the regional distribution of large urban areas throughout the 21st century.

 

Paper and supplementary report.

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