“Top-ranked annual books on sustainable development.”—GlobeScan survey of sustainability experts
Since by the end of 2008 one half of the world's population will live in cities, this clearly written report from the Worldwatch Institute focuses on the cities of the world, their strengths and their problems. Fully annotated chapters full of graphs, sidebars and tables report on such topics as clean water and sanitation, urban transportation, energy use in urban areas, public health and fighting poverty in the cities. Each chapter of general information is followed by one or two short essays giving illustrative examples of the chapter's topic. The chapter on "Energizing Cities," for example, is accompanied by short pieces on Rizhao, a solar-powered city in northern China, and Malmo, a city in Sweden that is building "a green future." This is a source of highly accessible information for the young adult reader.