From the guest editors
Cities are engines of socio-economic growth and development. In facilitating this growth, cities have been notorious for delivering inequality and spatial imbalances, spatially accentuating the socio-economic population groups’ differences across income groups, social class, gender, minorities, and vulnerable groups, and thereby impacting on spaces, places, cultures, inclusion, and diversity. Perhaps, more challenging, and subtle but starkly disappointing has been that cities have been efficient machines in ejecting approximately 70% of greenhouse gas emissions on this planet (Xue, 2022: 102699). This is a great concern in a context in which over half of humanity (this figure is projected to reach 68% by 2050) lives in urban areas (Wheeler, 2021: 10). The onslaught of climate change is meeting our biggest urbanisation and settlement dynamics wave and drive in human civilization, as millions of people continue to migrate into cities in the hope of a better life. This phenomenon and momentum do not seem to show any signals of slowing down soon and is occurring despite the reality that many of our cities are already showing cracks and gaps in respect of their ability to act on climate change and impacts. The need to achieve net zero CO2 emissions in future makes the call for climate action an urgent priority for all.
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