Urban development, climate change, and digital transformation are three deeply interlinked trends and action areas that give way to Climate Digital Cities. Sustainable development of cities cannot be thought without taking into account: (i) the spatial growth, infrastructure needs, and resource demands of urban areas with inefficient planning and management systems; (ii) the impacts and required adaptation actions following from a changing climate with increasingly frequent and severe weather events; and (iii) the reach and penetration of ICT infrastructure, products, and multi-actor processes into physical, economic, and social systems through digital transformation.
Fast forward to the year 2050 there will be about 2.5 billion additional people living in urban areas. This massive growth in urban populations across the globe is close to adding all of the urban areas of Africa and Asia in 2015 again to our existing urban world. From currently more than half of all people living in cities, by 2050 about two thirds will do.
The Paris Agreement, signed in 2015 within the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), committed signatories to maintaining global warming to well below 2.0°C above pre-industrial levels and pursuing efforts to limit this increase to 1.5°C.
The world has already warmed by 1.0°C above pre-industrial levels due to human activities and is experiencing the related impacts. At the current rate of warming of 0.2°C per decade, global warming will reach 1.5°C between 2030 and 2052.
The benefits from rolled-out ICT infrastructure and services, wider data availability, and new information from sensing cities’ environmental, physical, and other processes are yet to be fully reaped. Municipal governments can drive digital transformation processes in their cities and reap these benefits from an increasingly digital society with seamless data flows.