Cities And The Built Environment14

Cities now house the majority of the world's population and are expected to continue to grow more rapidly than nonurban areas. Cities and other built-up areas contribute to global climate change through their consumption—including construction materials, energy, water, and food—and their role as the focus for most industrial production. They also contribute to local climate change via the positive feedbacks on warming associated with the built environment. Given their concentration of people, industry, and infrastructure, cities and built environments are expected to face significant direct and indirect impacts from climate change. These include impacts associated with sea level rise because a large number of cities in the United States and worldwide are located in coastal zones. Just as cities help drive climate change, cities also offer opportunities for limiting the magnitude of climate change, and many cities have also started to consider options for adapting to climate change.

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