Around the world in 80 market briefs | U.S. Green Building Council
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Around the world in 80 market briefs

Published on Written by Posted in Advocacy and policy

Green Building Leadership across the World’s Megacities

To accommodate the expected increase in urban population of 2 billion people before 2030, will require the equivalent of 200 new cities the size of Paris.[1]

There is no question that cities will play the leading role in our future global economy. They are burgeoning markets supporting jobs and technological innovation. They are the engines of economic activity and are major drivers of the global economy. Green buildings are intrinsically linked to this narrative, as subnational governments around the globe are epicenters for green building activity and leadership.

As the above quote prompts, it is important to acknowledge the future impacts of cities and their inhabitants. How we develop our cities will make or break our future emissions trajectory and shape the fate of environmental and human health.

Fortunately, cities are uniquely positioned to take meaningful action against climate change through the built environment, as they have jurisdiction over certain building regulations, issue construction permits and are more politically agile to pass and implement progressive policies.

The World Green Building Council’s Sustainable Cities Initiative (SCI) facilitates interactions between national green building councils and cities around the world, with the aim to create partnerships and collaborations that leverage synergies to rapidly accelerate the uptake of green building.

A project of SCI, in partnership with C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group and other local government networks, is underway, to develop Green Building City Market Briefs for key cities around the globe. The aim is to provide a snapshot of the green building industry and policies in each city. In aggregation, these one page briefs will develop a compendium for policy best practices and a roadmap for market transformation at the local level. These resources will be rolled out throughout 2014 and can be accessed here.

This project involves a great deal of cooperation with GBCs and collaboration with city governments. This resource could not be produced without their assistance and support. The link between sustainable development and smart city planning cannot be understated. Cities will remain a prominent theme of our articles and will be highlighted regularly in our “UrbInnovation” article series.

[1] Comstock, M., Garrigan, C., Pouffary, S. (2012) “Building Design and Construction: Forging Resource Efficiency and Sustainable Development.” UNEP-SBCI. Available here [Accessed 11 March 2014]


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Maggie Comstock

Policy Analyst U.S. Green Building Council
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