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It is Time to Act - Now!Peter Löscher, President of the Managing Board and CEO, Siemens AG The streets of ancient Athens were the stage on which the Greek philosophers developed and presented their ideas. It was in the busy marketplace of his native town that Socrates chose to disseminate his teachings. Cherishing the close contact with people and the opportunity to exchange ideas with his pupils face to face, Socrates already recognised the creative potential of the urban environment some 2,500 years ago. And cities are still the breeding ground for the innovative forces driving progress in our society today. As recent statistics attest, urban areas are the growth engines of the world economy, generating some 80 per cent of global GDP. They also offer extraordinary opportunities for personal development, employment and increased prosperity. What makes cities is not just their houses, streets, railways, water lines and parks. As Edward Glaeser, US economist and author of Triumph of the City, rightly notes: "the real city is made of flesh, not concrete."We have an obligation to pass on to the city dwellers of tomorrow an urban environment worth living in. To people like little Danica, who was born in Manila in the fall of 2011 and honoured by the United Nations as the world's seven billionth inhabitant, we have an ethical duty to provide a secure future. Danica will be 39 years old in 2050. According to the experts, world population will have increased to more than nine billion by that date - in 1992, when the first Earth Summit took place in Rio de Janeiro, only 5.5 billion people lived on our planet. What is even more, today, more than 50 per cent live in cities. By 2050, this figure will have risen to about 70 per cent. This means that 096 smart cities

in 2050, the number of people living in cities will be almost as large as the world's entire population today. The urban population will have increased by three billion - with growth coming primarily in the urban centres of the developing and emerging countries. In Asia, cities are currently adding 100,000 new residents a day. As a result, lack of space, environmental pollution, power shortages, traffic congestion and poor infrastructure services are the order of the day in many areas.Cities also pose the largest threat to the world's climate, accounting for about 70 per cent of the planet's greenhouse gas emissions. As the energy demand grows and as supplies of natural resources diminish, converting the world's burgeoning mega-metropolises into smart sustainable cities will require the courage to innovate as well as companies that are able to develop intelligent technologies. Awareness of this fact is rapidly growing - not only in industrial countries like Germany, which has been a trailblazer in environmental protection for decades, but also in regions like Asia and Latin America. To find out which cities are leaders in environmental awareness, Siemens commissioned the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), an independent research institute, to survey environmental conditions in urban areas around the world. One model is Singapore - a densely populated city-state that has successfully harmonised sustainability with the conditions of modern urban life. The island nation invests systematically in education and is now a global leader in water technologies. One of the most attractive business locations in the Asia-Pacific region, Singapore is living proof that sustainability and economic success are not mutually exclusive.Expanding conurbations were long considered a negative development to be curbed or impeded wherever possible. Today, however, we have reached a turning point - and one that offers major opportunities. To combat climate change and, at the same time, maintain cities as livable spaces, the urban environment will have to be radically transformed. There are no other options. But to master the challenges, government leaders, urban planners and companies will have to join forces and coordinate their efforts. It is time to act - now.Siemens began focusing on environmental protection many years ago and has long been a leader in ecofriendly technologies. In fiscal 2011, the company generated revenue of nearly ? Left: Peter LöscherAbove: Intelligent buildings producing efficiently their own energy and an environmental friendly traffic system are part of the city of the future" We have an obligation to pass on to the city dwellers of tomorrow an urban environment worth living in. "smart cities 097