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The Weight of Cities in Latin America and the Caribbean: Advancing towards sustainable, low-carbon, and resource efficient urbanization

9 speakers

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Material consumption is one important indicator of the environmental impact of cities. In 2011, the International Resource Panel recommended an indicative global sustainable resource consumption target of between 6 and 8 tonnes per capita. With this target in mind, urban domestic material consumption (DMC) in the Latin America and Caribbean region, with its projected population of 680 million by 2050, should be within the range of 4.1 and 5.4 billion tonnes per year. But urban DMC in the LAC region exceeded these values in 2015.
This session will present the main findings of the Weight of Cities in LAC that looks into the consumption in the region. The report builds on the 2018 International Resource Panel global report with a similar title, which emphasized the importance of cities in making the global transition to a sustainable future. The regional report provides a nuance to this global analysis by considering the pressing issues of the LAC region. It was developed jointly by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the International Resource Panel (for which UNEP is the Secretariat), with the support of German Government through GIZ.It will be followed by the response of global experts to action points for communities and neighbourhoods to act on the upward trend of consumption in cities through a recently developed discussion paper on Creating Circular Neighbourhoods. The paper was developed by UNEP together with Arup, BASE, C40 Cities, Ellen MacArthur Foundation, and the Mass Design Group. It draws from the experiences of Mexico City and Prague to present some initial thoughts around circular construction, servitisation, and neighbourhood food systems, ultimately advocating for the inclusion of neighbourhoods in circular economy planning, implementation, and monitoring in cities.