Cities as catalysts and laboratories for ecological transformation

Luise Fischer, Francesca Rizzo, Adriana O’Phelan, Anthony Zacharzewski, Andrea Gabaldon Moreno, and Carla Rodríguez Alonso 

On behalf of the NetZero Cities Initiative

Cities comprise complex networks and systems that have long provided opportunities for innovation and human flourishing. However, the same systems contribute to today’s major environmental challenges. Cities thus find themselves at the heart of driving innovation for a just ecological transformation. Not only do cities foster, pilot and scale high-tech solutions, but they can also enable low-tech and social innovation. This article explores the conditions that allow cities to foster various forms of innovation, and do so collectively, for an inclusive and just ecological transformation.