The video, entitled An Urbanizing Planet, takes viewers on a stunning satellite-perspective tour around our planet. By combining more than 10 datasets and using tools and techniques such as GIS processing softwares and 3D graphic applications, the video shows not only where urbanization will be most extensive, but also how the majority of the expansion of urban areas will occur in areas adjacent to biodiversity hotspots.
 
The video was produced by the Stockholm Resilience Centre at Stockholm University in collaboration with the UN Convention on Biological Diversity and Canadian visualization expert Felix Pharand-Deschênes. 
 
“It was a challenge to present all this information in a compelling way and in less than three minutes, but working with the Stockholm Resilience Centre was fantastic, both creatively and intellectually,” Pharand-Deschênes said. 
 
The video was part of the launch of the new book Urbanization, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services: Challenges and Opportunities — A Global Assessment. The book was launched in New York on October 4, 2013, as part of the UN-Habitat's World Habitat Day celebrations, and has involved more than 200 scientists worldwide.
 
The book, with Professor Thomas Elmqvist at the Stockholm Resilience Centre as the Scientific Editor, is the world's first assessment to date of how global urbanization and urban growth impact biodiversity and ecosystems, calling for a redefinition of the role of cities in natural resource management.
 
It states that over 60 percent of the land projected to become urban by 2030 has yet to be built on, but emphasizes that this presents a major opportunity to greatly improve global sustainability. By promoting low-carbon, resource-efficient urban development, it is possible to reduce adverse effects on biodiversity and improve quality of life, it says.
 
Read more about the Cities and Biodiversity Outlook project here: www.cbobook.org