Race Against Time: Population, Urban Growth & Miracles of Innovation

Peter Newman
Professor of Sustainability, Curtin University.

The exponential growth in population and consumption of fossil fuels has been seen since the 1960′s as a race against time to turn around before planetary ecological systems collapse. For the first time in history we can begin to see some reductions in these growth patterns with peaks and declines indicating that the necessary changes are underway. The trends in population, fossil fuel investment, and car use offer considerable hope for the future. The critical role of cities and innovation in enabling these changes and the need for continuing growth in green urbanism will be stressed. The role of health in supporting positive urban change instead of anti-urbanism as in some public health approaches will be outlined.