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LocationTech NZ

Future-proofing our cities: transitioning towards sustainability

One of my favourite things I studied at university was the Neolithic Revolution and the birth of agriculture. I found it interesting because it changed the way humans interacted with their surroundings. With domesticated plants and animals, it allowed us to settle into one location. No longer were we needing to be nomadic, hunting and foraging for survival. It allowed us to build long-term communities where we could explore culture and establish new social codes of how to live within a society. 
Fast forward to another favourite, the Industrial Revolution, circa 1760s to 1840s. This saw the introduction of new manufacturing processes, with machinery, the power of the steam engine, and the textile industry booming. A blessing for productivity, but was it the dawn of the possible end of civilisation? As we saw with the Neolithic Revolution, there was a shift to the way we lived and interacted as a community. It created a new economy but was the catalyst for our population to grow at an exponential rate, which hasn’t slowed down since. 
With the rise in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, we’re living in a connected world where our lives more than ever are intertwined and reliant on technology. But as past technological revolutions have shown us, there is an immediate impact to how we live and function within society. 
As populations grow, our needs for our cities to be amenable and future-proof is necessary. As we’ve experienced in the last few years, we’ve had to adapt to working from home, and have faced issues with the supply chain, which impacted nearly every industry. 
But what happens if we continue to grow? It took us 200,000 years to reach a billion people, but only 200 years since the Industrial Revolution to reach 7 billion. Currently, we’re flirting very close to 8 billion and it is predicted that by 2100 we’ll peak at 11 billion. 
With this prediction, how do we ensure we build sustainable cities that not only allow us to thrive socially as a community, but also ensure our consumption of resources, such as water and energy is sustainable? Cities need to be scalable – to be able to be redesigned efficiently and adaptable to any changes that are thrown our way. 
It is my pleasure to announce our kick-off event for our series on sustainability that focuses on these questions. How do we build sustainable cities in the future with the impact of our growing population? 
We look forward to listening to our panellists share their insights on May 4th at 1pm. For more information and to register, please check out our event listing here.
And keep an eye out for our next event in our sustainability series on sea level rise and the impact on the insurance and banking sector.

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Ngā mihi

Alison Mackie
LocationTech Executive Director

LocationTech NZ Our mission is to establish LocationTechNZ as the voice of location technology and spatial intelligence in New Zealand.