Arid environments are characterised by a natural scarcity of fresh water and precipitation. They currently account for 30% of the world’s land surface.

Yet far too often, cities in arid environments are planned and designed based on a global city making paradigm that fails to respond to region specific opportunities and challenges.

Cities in regions including the Middle East, Australia and the south west of the United States require climate appropriate design solutions to create sustainable and liveable cities.

Cities Alive: Rethinking cities in arid environments proposes a strategic rethink of how we plan and design cities in arid regions.

At the heart of the report sit three key recommendations to shape the next century of city building in arid regions:

  1. Learning from the past. Build upon locally adapted climate-specific design solutions.
  2. Invest in green and blue infrastructure that is designed to work with local environmental and ecological systems.
  3. Designing intelligent buildings and public spaces that can meet the needs of people in changing climates.

The report proposes 36 actions that local governments, planners, architects and investors can consider to support the development of more inclusive, resilient and competitive cities.

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Cities Alive: Rethinking cities in arid environments