Environmental standards of US cities require 3 earth planets
TEHRAN, Feb. 25 (MNA) – The president of Iran Urban Economics Scientific Association (IUESA) Dr. Mohammad Hossein Pourzarandi said "if all countries want to have environmental standard of the US cities, we may need three earth planets."
Speaking during a scientific meeting on global economy and its impact on cities, Dr. Pourzarandi said although global economy experienced 3 percent growth in 2016, this amount was 2.1 in the US, 2.6 in European countries, and 4 in developing countries that indicate slow growth, reduction in productivity rate, and downward inflation.
Studies indicate that 50 large cities in the world that are headquarters of the global economy have more than 9.6 trillion dollars GDP while the world top 10 cities manage 22 percent of the world economic activities, despite they only have 6.2 percent of the world population, he noted.
Asserting that Tokyo with 2 trillion dollars, New York metropolitan area – Philadelphia, Kobe metropolitan area - Osaka, Nagoya, Chicago and London are at the top of this list, he added they are counted as headquarters of global financial centers, banks, insurances, credit institutions, and central offices of multinational companies.
Pointing to the role of knowledge-based economy in economic development of cities, he said even though cities were expected to lose credibility and position by starting global era, the experience indicated that IT development and knowledge-based economy depend on cities more. Looking at the ranking of different countries in the field of knowledge-based economy, we may consider that the richest ones are those which depend on knowledge-based economy.
Emphasizing on the environmental aspects of economic development in cities, Pourzarandi said cities are responsible for the emission of 80 percent of carbon dioxide in the world and their environmental impacts are evaluated by indicators, including ecological footprint, carbon, and water footprint.
Noting that more than half of the world cities are exposed to environmental hazards like storm, flood, droughts, earthquakes, landslides and volcanoes, Pourzarandi added studies indicate that the greatest ecological footprint is related to North American countries with 4.9 hectares for each person. If all countries want to have environmental standard of the US cities, we may need three earth planets.
He further said each person requires 3.5 hectares in England to provide his need on average and this rate is 4 hectares in Tehran to meet the citizens' consumption demands, which is 389 times more than the real area of Tehran.
Emphasizing that although climate change threatens all countries, developing countries are more vulnerable against this problem, he said it seems developing counties undergo 75 percent of losses and damages caused by climate change in order that 2 degrees warmer air will lead to reduce 4 to 5 percent of GDP in Africa and South Asia.