Climate One: Zero-Emission Cities

May 11, 2020

Credit Provided by PRX

Can we solve the climate crisis by reimagining our cities?

Climate activists have long envisioned the zero-carbon cities of the future. Now, with COVID-19 shutting down congested urban areas, city dwellers from Los Angeles to New Delhi are getting a rare taste of clean air and blue skies. But the view is also more clear of things more painful to see - social inequalities that have existed for generations.

“This particular crisis is showing us that how vulnerable our poor communities are,” says Ani Dasgupta of the World Resources Institute.  “And whatever we do in the future, the building resilience, economic and social resilience, should be core strategy for anyone of us who are trying to rebuild cities from then on.”

Eva Gladek, founder of the consulting firm Metabolic, agrees. “This is an opportunity to think about what kind of systems do we actually want, what kind of future do we envision for our cities and for our economy,” she says. “And how do we actually try to address multiple challenges at once when looking toward that future.”

Climate One convened experts in sustainability and urban planning from three far-flung cities – Los Angeles, Washington D.C. and Amsterdam – to explore the role of cities around the world in building a just and sustainable future for all their citizens.

And as Dasgupta points out, clear skies are only part of the picture.

“What we’re looking for is not just a low carbon city or low carbon world,” he notes. “We’re looking for a successful city. 

“A successful city has a place where people have jobs, people can create welfare for the families and do what they need to do.  It is a thriving place that has high quality of life.”

This program is generously underwritten by ClimateWorks Foundation and was recorded via video on April 20, 2020.

Host: Greg Dalton

Ani Dasgupta, Global Director, World Resources Institute, Ross Center for Sustainable Cities
Eva Gladek, Founder and CEO, Metabolic
Lauren Faber O'Connor, Chief Sustainability Officer, Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, City of Los Angeles

Tune-in Monday, May 11 at 7 PM on Lakeshore Public Radio - 89.1 FM.