Cities with populations above 10 million people face unique challenges with resource use, according to a paper last week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, and the number of megacities is likely to grow from 27 today to 37 in 2020.
“Developed cities, such as New York, Tokyo, and London will need to decrease material and energy use to reduce their environmental impact,” the Science Media Centre of Canada reports. By contrast, “developing cities such as Dhaka (Bangladesh) and Kolkata (India) need to increase their populations’ access to electricity and running water.”
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A research team led by Christopher Kennedy at the University of Toronto showed how policy influences resource use: London, UK produces 0.32 tons of waste per capita, compared to New York City at 1.49.