To rampant urbanization, how is changing the demand for urban services
There are many technical developments but the list of essential services is immutable: access to drinking water, sanitation, transport, waste treatment, energy supply. Everywhere the elect questioned the "wise" and ask us to help build a global vision. I however insist on an emergency: more cities grow, more the issue of sanitation becomes important for obvious reasons of hygiene. In rural areas, can live with a slop pail to the bottom of the garden. Step in the city. In some cities, pollution is such that it is illusory to ensure access to drinking water, if it deals not in advance of the treatment of water waste. Moreover, cities move to the coast: 25 of the world's population live within 25 kilometres of the sea, that is precisely where freshwater resources are rare, as for example in California. The urbanization of the coast will stop exacerbating the problems of access to water.
Can you work in poor cities
Access to drinking water is not only a problem for the poor. At Riyadh in Saudi Arabia, where we have to win the contract processing and distribution of water, the inhabitants have water only three or four hours a day. In Australia, where is the drought, of very large investment efforts are underway to construct new units of recycling waste water and desalination of sea water. That said, we have demonstrated that can work anywhere. We are in Alexandria, the Morocco, Gabon, Niger, one of the poorest countries of the world, where we distribute water and electricity without losing money, with a rate of recovery of our bills of more than 90! Alexandria, where we manage the waste, has become the cleanest city in the Middle East. But in Niger, as in Alexandria, our success is possible because it is based on the determination of the public authorities to deal with their urban problems in the transparency and the duration. In my opinion, we can work anywhere, there is good public governance. In addition, where we work, we work in local currency with the local labour force. There is a correlation between wealth and costs. Infrastructure do not have the same cost throughout. Plus Alexandria for example, we may sell certificates of emission of carbon dioxide in exchange for the recovery of biogas from the discharge of the city, which balance and proves that imagined to Kyoto to fight climate change clean development mechanisms go well in the sense of a sustainable planet.
Can you actually manage a megalopolis of more 20 million inhabitants
Everything is a question of anticipation. We are in Shanghai, which is moving towards the 30 million inhabitants, and enjoyment of essential services. How to design a civilization without that this is the case Shanghai, of course, urban immigration is controlled via the system of internal passports, but Hall had still to invent new systems to cope. Thus, in the Pudong district, it is forbidden to construct a new Tower without financing access to water. Access to water is thus financed by investors.
With urbanization, is this the end of all automobile
All cities in the world discover the needs of mobility and the need to promote public transport. They know all that they can step attract business and, therefore, not economically survive if they do not provide a correct transport service. But, of course, need them to find resources for playing on the cost of transportation, nowhere in the world, is paid to its true cost by the user. Cities like Bogota or Curitiba showed that there were not too expensive solutions, with own site bus systems, regularity is worthy of metros.
Planet of slums or sustainable cities, where are we
The future, but this is neither the low-lying areas described by Zola, Malibu. Anyway, no one is really capable of measuring the consequences of demographic change. When the urban concentration is anticipated, it is acceptable. Otherwise, we are going out to dramatic problems, especially for health.
What is your favourite city
If I had the choice, I will install the headquarters of Veolia in Sydney. I had a blow of heart for this city that combines quality of life and economic dynamism. But, of course, I do not overlook Rome or Venice, and my Italian origins, or my hometown of Antibes.