Cities and climate change

Cities will be home to an estimated 70% of the world’s population by 2050. To meet the needs of this growing community, cities in the future will need to look and operate differently to cities now.

Cities have shown that they have the economic and political power to lead initiatives to meaningfully tackle climate change.

Arup’s planners, consultants, designers and engineers are at the heart of the teams designing cities of the future. Working with cities, we help them negotiate complexity, develop the city as a system and deliver sustainable and resilient urban infrastructure. 

Co-authoring the C40 cities Climate Action in Megacities (CAM 2.0) report, Arup is helping cities understand how we can meaningfully measure climate action. We have earned acclaim for our innovative analysis of climate action, the scale and longevity of our transformative work and our ability to effect ‘real life’ change.

In September 2014, our chairman, Gregory Hodkinson, was invited by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to discuss Arup’s vision for cities with respect to mitigating and adapting to global climate change.

Creating resilient cities

Working with partners such as The Rockefeller Foundation, we harness expertise in sustainability, strategic and urban planning, infrastructure and international development to enhance cities’ capacity to thrive when experiencing shock and stress.

From this approach, we have created tools like the City Resilience Framework, helped establish networks such as the Asian Cities Climate Change Resilience Network (ACCCRN) and delivered strategies including 100 Resilient Cities, and the Toolkit for Resilient Cities with Siemens

Policy, planning and integration

Ensuring future cities are more robust and liveable requires imagination and innovative design. Our Cities Alive project gives cities a vision of the real value of green infrastructure. It shows how a linked ‘city ecosystem’ can help create healthier, more resilient and prosperous cities – from city-wide strategic projects down to more imaginative uses of space within the layers of a city. 

In tackling climate change, leadership is an essential ingredient for success. Our global experience in policy guidance enables cities to develop their own climate adaptation and mitigation plans, like the Washington DC Sustainability Plan.

Technical excellence

Our engineering heritage means that we can deliver technical solutions to help cities use their resources most effectively – from  practical delivery of heat networks around London, to innovative transport solutions and strategic smart city solutions. We understand that cities require practical, cost effective and low-carbon solutions to the challenges they face. 

Climate Week

For more information, please contact Paula Kirk or Laura Frost


  • Info graphic showing elements of a resilient city.Open gallery

    How are cities tackling climate change? Take a look at our infographic.