An article in this month's New Scientist - Eco-cities special: Ecopolis now - asks what are the key components of an "eco-city" of the future? It addresses the issues concerning what are the most important conditions of existing cities that must be changed, and what services and plans added, in order to create a sustainable urban environment that can accommodate massive population booms within its city limits:
"Returning the world's population to the countryside isn't an option...And dividing up the planet into plots of land on which we could all live self-sufficiently would create its own natural disasters, not to mention being highly unlikely to ever happen.
If we are to protect what is left of nature, and meet the demand to improve the quality of living for the world's developing nations, a new form of city living is the only option. The size of a city creates economies of scale for things such as energy generation, recycling and public transport. It should even be possible for cities to partly feed themselves. Far from being parasites on the world, cities could hold the key to sustainable living for the world's booming population - if they are built right."