Our Urban Challenge
While we are increasingly aware of the full impacts of our ecological footprints, each urban issue we consider is complicated by its geographic, cultural, economic and political context. For example, there are clear differences on CO2 emission targets and priorities between developed and developing countries. This complexity suggests that our known problems and even those yet to emerge will dominate their respective geographies differently over time. This is a key reason why making implementable agreements across scales (local to regional to global) like the Kyoto Accord are so difficult. Poor understanding of an issue limits our ability to conduct meaningful dialogue. We have a collective obligation to create better circumstances for pragmatic, yet meaningful responses and policies.
With this in mind we understand that extraordinary conditions and changes will require extraordinary responses. We believe the geo-political, economic and cultural shifts we see today are just the start of bigger global realignments that have yet to fully settle. To fully understand the impacts of these shifts on our urban settlements, we will need fresh perspectives, orientation and approaches. The IFHP aims to assist with these issues.