New York City skyline; New York City skyline;

Resilient, net zero cities

Cities’ transition to net zero starts now

Cities’ transition to net zero starts now

Cities great and small are facing the impacts of climate change and the need to develop greater resilience. Urban leaders and communities want quality of life, wellbeing, and financial security to be protected at the same time as the physical resilience of critical infrastructure and systems.

At the same time, net zero targets are focusing leaders’ minds on how to decarbonise their cities. Given the contribution cities make to global greenhouse gas emissions, leaders will increasingly be expected to take action to reduce emissions as they simultaneously build resilience and create truly sustainable and liveable cities. We provide systematic support on these complex goals, working in partnership.

Cities are at the heart of responding to climate change – action taken at a city scale to build greater resilience and to decarbonise has the power to create healthier, more equitable places at the same time.” Jonathan Kinghorn Jonathan Kinghorn Australasia Cities, Planning and Design Leader

How we can help

Map city climate risks


Given the scale of the already-built environment, cities will need to retrofit many existing buildings and infrastructure for lower energy use. When scaled this approach offers the opportunity to permanently reduce baseline energy demand as well as the chance to use more sustainable materials.

Learn more about our environmental consulting service

Retrofit for lower energy use


Buildings bear the mark of a city’s history and give form to its identity. That’s why reimagining old buildings for new needs and purposes is so rewarding. Arup has long experience of designing and realising these transformations.

Learn more about our building retrofit service

Building resilience with nature-based solutions


Green infrastructure is the way to produce sustainable long-term resilience. Introducing new or retrofitted urban wetlands, permeable paving, water roofs and sustainable drainage can allow an urban environment’s capacity to hold and absorb water to increase substantially.

Find out more about our work with nature based solutions

Use digital to accelerate the urban energy transformation


Embracing the clean energy transition at a city scale can significantly reduce the carbon emissions generated within urban environments. It’s an infrastructure challenge where digital tools can accelerate the solution.

We are working with cities, regions, and utilities as they develop more complex grids, implement battery storage to facilitate greater reliance on renewables, and manage demand using real-time data.

Learn more about the urban energy transition

Green and thriving neighbourhoods guidebook Green and thriving neighbourhoods guidebook

Green and thriving neighbourhoods

The neighbourhood scale in a city offers unique opportunities to accelerate towards net zero. Neighbourhood projects can pioneer new policy, consider ways to increase citizen participation and test new technologies that can support the overarching vision.

Download our report to find out more

The neighbourhood scale in a city offers unique opportunities to accelerate towards net zero. Neighbourhood projects can pioneer new policy, consider ways to increase citizen participation and test new technologies that can support the overarching vision.

Download our report to find out more


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