9 billion people on earth: what does that mean for me?
Author: secure urban travel backpack designer Sarah Giblin
It's true, we can expect to see the global population grow to between 9 and 10 billion in the next 100 years, with an ever increasing percentage of that population living in cities. For the current figures read my last blog What is the global population now? And the next blog on the Life and death impact of global population growth. But in this blog, here's what we can do to on an individual, micro level to help adapt to and thrive in the world's future cities as people.
Businesses and cities know that building with eco-friendly materials, using renewable energy and consuming with more thought is great. On an individual level, feel good and save money by building in sustainability into your lifestyle. Use water saving taps and reduce your water bill, sell your car and use public transport, try solar to lower your electricity bill and keep the lights on in an emergency, separate your rubbish and eat less - or no - meat. There’s virtually no harm in it, it might just help your future megacity and almost all environmentally-conscious tricks save you money.
We can't control everything, but we can control our approach to our fellow city dwellers. The cities of the future will continue to face major issues like homelessness and the least well off struggling to survive there. Rather than ignore these problems, we can approach the least well off people with empathy, without fearing or judging.
We may wish to support policies that look out for the least well off too. The cities of the future will thrive if everyone, even the poorest citizens, are catered for and treated as equals by everyone.
Individually we cannot stop natural and manmade disasters. These are the major safety issues facing huge cities of the future. But what we can do is equip ourselves at street level with the right tools to feel safe and help others feel safe in the city. If we feel secure, we are more likely to help someone else in need.
Do what you can through planning, the products you travel with and your behaviours to feel safe. Equally, help someone if they are in trouble. Be open and non-judgemental to visitors from other places and help to build an atmosphere of safety in your city. This is the core idea behind the RiutBag anti theft backpack - to help you have a revolution in user thinking and reduce your stress, fear of theft and suspicion towards others so you can adapt positively to city life.
We have seen major cities being destroyed and attacked in recent decades. On a macro scale, enabling cities to rebuild themselves quickly after major disasters depends on a financial infrastructure providing access to money. It’s not just money which puts a city back together. It’s the attitude of its people as individuals and the bonds between them. I know it well from myself: I love the anonymity of city living. But allowing yourself to build bonds in your cities, be open and help others actually creates a powerful base which can sooth communities rather than strengthen rifts.
Most of us can't stop manmade or natural disasters with our bare hands. But here's what we can do to adapt and thrive in the cities of the future and help make them better for us, and our fellow citizens, from the ground up.
I'm Sarah Giblin. I design secure backpacks called RiutBag for urban city travellers. The development of cities, their growth and how we feel in them is fundamental to how I design for you. I left my job and funded the RiutBag on Kickstarter, often referred to as an anti-theft backpack, to enable travellers to use new products designed for urban life, built to reduce stress, minimise loss and theft and to lower our suspicion of others. As cities grow, new challenges arise. We can adapt our behaviours, mindset and products to still feel at home in the world's most incredible cities of the future.