Nordicum - Real Estate Annual Finland 2018 - Page 3

NORDICUM Real Estate Annual Finland The Metropolitan Movement The time of the cities is now. It is noteworthy that cities are on the rise at a scale and speed that is quite unprecedented in human history. Pioneering cities have become the true engines of national economies, as well as champions for a smarter, low- carbon lifestyle, for instance. Researcher Bruce J. Katz from the American Brookings Institution (see the interview on p. 8–15) argues that cities sit on the front lines of disruptive forces such as population migration, demographic transformation, economic restructuring, income inequality, and climate change. Since many national and state governments are mired in gridlock, Katz fully expects cities to step up and take the helm in issues such as policy innovation and problem-solving. According to studies, sustainable urbanisation reflects one of the most critical areas for urban solutions today. While half of the world’s population now lives in cities, more than 70 per- cent of carbon emissions originate in cities. Henceforth, the solu- tions should also come from the cities, as is recognised by the 2015 Paris climate agreement and the UN’s recent Sustainable Development Goals. Katz talks about “major interventions” that are needed for the cities to get their sustainable groove on. Greener, smarter ways of doing things are direly needed in e.g. transport, build- ings and energy sector. Transport and buildings constitute the bulk of greenhouse gas emissions in cities, and cities consume over two-thirds of the world’s energy, primarily through non-renewable sources. Katz points out that the technologies for changing this reality – such as state-of-the-art mass transit, energy efficiency, and dis- tributed renewable energy – already exist. The challenge lies in deploying these technologies at scale across cities with radically different regimes of government and governance. In these trying times, the cities need leaders with vision. Katz is of the opinion that city mayors may very well emerge as the game changers in the new urban reality. In order to suc- ceed in this, mayors and other city leaders need to stay grounded and learn to govern more effectively. The lessons learned from mayors solving problems and making progress – in spite of con- straints on their formal powers and available resources – need to be taken to heart. As the gulf between urban policy preferences and state and federal priorities keeps widening, mayors also face mount- ing pressure from many sides. Nevertheless, the power base of the city leaders is growing as well – the megatrend of urbanisa- tion is not going anywhere. Sami J. Anteroinen Editor-at-Large Publisher PubliCo Oy Pälkäneentie 19 A FI-00510 Helsinki Finland Phone +358 20 162 2200 Editor-in-Chief Jussi Sinkko Editorial Coordinator Liisa Hyvönen Project Manager Paul Charpentier Contributors Merja Kihl Ari Mononen Sami J. Anteroinen Lutz Ehrhardt Language Editor Dialog Designs Graphic Design Riitta Yli-Öyrä Sales Finland Mr. Paul Charpentier Phone +358 20 162 2220 Sweden Mr. Johan Lindberg Phone +358 20 162 2280 Germany Mr. Lutz Ehrhardt Phone +49 40 367 311 Cover Photo The Brookings Institution Printed by PunaMusta, December 2017 Photographic and advertising material is sent at the owner’s risk. NORDICUM accepts no liability for loss or damage. NORDICUM promotes Baltic Sea area cooperation and free markets. NORDICUM is not affiliated with any political party or financial institution. ISSN-L 1236-3839 ISSN 1236-3839 (Print) ISSN 2242-9603 (Online) PubliCo Oy is a member of The Finnish Periodical Publisher’s Association Nordicum 3