With almost 70% of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, adding another 2.5 billion people to the share of urban dwellers, planners are scrambling to meet the soaring need for infrastructure and housing. But adding to the challenge is also the fact that our cities are getting increasingly more polluted, loud and — above all — warm. In the last few years alone, reports of wildfires and extreme droughts have multipled as the effects of climate change are felt around the world. But less has been said about our cities being transformed into ovens.
Thanks to something called the heat-island effect - where buildings and roads absorb the sun's energy and release it well into the night - urban areas could warm as much as 4.4 degress celsius by the end of the century.
But the good news is that some experts are thinking hard behind the scenes about how to redesign and build more sustainable cities for the future. One of them is Rudi Scheuermann.
In the second episode of WICONA Meets, our team travelled to Hamburg to find out more about how to make urban spaces more resiliant, sustainable and cool. Specialising in building envelope design, Rudi is the "green hand" of Arup, a multinational firm at the forefront of some of the world's most ambitious and challenging design and engineering projects.
During his decades-long career, Rudi has worked with world-class architects and engineers around the globe. But while his experience spans the gamut of the building field, he has today become the go-to-guy for anyone wanting to learn more about how to merge urban life with nature; in other words, how to literally make cities go green.