With the world's population increasing by an estimated 1 million additional people each week for the next 38 years, its imperative that public leaders and planners provide spaces for the growing population in the most socially and environmentally sensitive ways possible. And, as Palmer notes, experts at the conference agreed that the American model of urban sprawl must be resisted.
According to Karen Seto, a professor of urban environment at Yale University. "The North American suburb has gone global, and car-dependent urban developments are more and more the norm. The way cities have grown since World War II is neither socially [nor] environmentally sustainable."
According to Palmer, conference attendees agreed that efficiency and density will be keys to solving the population growth crisis.
"That means more planning and investment in public infrastructure, including mass transit, and land-use zoning and building standards that encourage multiple uses of space. Buildings and land are only part of the equation, though; denser cities will require efficient mechanisms to combat poverty, crime and threats to public health, the scientists say."