The Industry of the Green City

Industry must play a key role in the greening of cities, according to the latest report from the Institute for Industrial Productivity (IIP).

Citing a strong link between sustainable cities and industrial energy efficiency in projected growth of cities, coupled with higher energy demand, IIP claim that there will be a high cost for the urban poor and to the environment if industry is not taken into account in city strategies, planning, and policy making.

The report, titled "The Role of Industry in Forging Green Cities," co-written by Jigar V. Shah and Chris Sall, zeroes in on the social and environmental challenges of the world's cities and provides insight on how efficient industry can help them overcome these challenges; it includes projections on the growth of both cities and industry, discusses how industrial energy efficiency can provide smart solutions for growing urban economies, and looks at what cities can do to boost low-carbon industry. Highlights from the report include the following:

  • Industrial energy demand will remain relatively flat in OECD countries as well as in the transition economies of Central and Eastern Europe, but will increase dramatically in the emerging economies of Asia, including China and India, and to a lesser extent in the Middle East and Africa.
  • Over the next few decades, industry will remain a vital feature of the global urban economy, providing more than a billion jobs and generating nearly thirty percent of economic output.
  • Despite a structural adjustment in the urban economy toward services, industry will continue to have a sizeable footprint. Most of this growth will be seen in medium to large-sized cities, with populations between one million and ten million people; these cities will also account for the majority of population increase in urban areas.
  • Achieving more of the full potential for cost-effective energy savings in industry will deliver benefits to the wider city economy, and capturing these benefits will require smart policy design and planning at the city level, as well as adequate support from higher levels of government; local governments should focus first on laying the technical, institutional, and financial groundwork that will enable them to progressively capture more of the economic potential that exists for energy efficiency in rapidly-growing urban areas.

​​The full IIP report can be found here: