Given that over half of the global population is living in cities, urban challenges are already enormous today. Cities contribute 75% of global energy-related CO2 emissions. Cities are key hotspots regarding their vulnerability to adverse effects of climate change. Over 800 million urban dwellers live in slums. Millions of urban dwellers in South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa are still without access to electricity. And with urban expansion to occur for the biggest part in developing countries over the coming decades, resilient and sustainable urbanisation is an even more enormous task for cities in that part of the world.
This thematic cluster will focus on opportunities for smart city infrastructure in the developing world, and how these can enable pathways for more sustainable cities. In particular it will look into the key technology options related to intelligent urban transport, smart buildings, clean urban energy systems, effective urban space planning and waste management. By exploring the lessons learned from cities in developed countries and from South-South cooperation on the operationalization of technological solutions, the theme will address the use of science, technology and innovation to open up leapfrogging opportunities.