Sourced from US News
IMAGINE THIS: YOUR CITY is leading in climate resilience efforts as well as in saving energy, water and waste. Your city is affordable for even the poorest. And your city is doing all of this while still making a higher living standard for every human being the most important priority. This might seem like a utopian vision given the threats cities currently face. But by tracking and measuring performance, cities can make improvements and become leaders in resiliency.
Across the U.S., infrastructure is in need of improvements that can sustain the impact of a changing climate and weather patterns. It is estimated that $2.1 trillion in infrastructure investments are needed between 2016 and 2025 to meet demand and protect our economy. Severe weather events are only exacerbating the issue. And as they become more frequent and intense, cities are increasingly feeling the effects. In 2017, 16 natural disasters – ranging from hurricanes and wildfires to flooding and drought – cost Americans a record $306 billion, far exceeding the previous record of $215 billion in 2005, when hurricanes Katrina, Wilma and Rita ravaged the U.S. Gulf Coast.
In the coming years, our cities will become more populated, putting millions more people and trillions more dollars in assets at risk. Governments and private developers must realize this isn't a crisis in the making – it's a crisis we are already facing. We need to plan now for the future or our very quality of life could be at risk. A recent report predicts climate change could cost the global economy $69 trillion by 2100 and warns of damage to critical infrastructure, workers' health and productivity.
Thankfully, leaders across both the public and private sector are stepping up to answer the call, tackling today's challenges and delivering the smart, resilient, healthy and safe communities and cities of tomorrow. Right here in the U.S., in places like Washington, D.C., Chicago and Phoenix, this future feels like it's just around the corner.