The urban planet: how cities save our future

Kraas, Frauke / Claus Leggewie / Peter Lemke / Ellen Matthies / Dirk Messner / Nebojsa Nakicenovic / Hans Joachim Schellnhuber / Sabine Schlacke / Uwe Schneidewind

Berlin: Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderungen (WBGU) (ed.)

ISBN: 978-3-936191-78-3

Dt. Ausg. u.d.T.:
Der urbane Planet: wie Städte unsere Zukunft sichern
Berlin: WBGU - Wissenschaftlicher Beirat der Bundesregierung Globale Umweltveränderungen (Hrsg.)

The future of our civilization will be decided in the cities. The internationally agreed Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations and the Paris Agreement on climate change can only be achieved if we design sustainable and liveable cities across the globe.
 The problems and potential solutions faced in doing so can vary widely across cities and urban communities. The cities of this world are quite different from another; they develop very ‘personal qualities’. In this comic, too, they appear as markedly distinct characters.
 The goal of the cities in this comic is to find pathways for a transformation towards sustainability.
A ‘normative compass’ provides orientation in the process, helping to design urban development so that natural life-support systems remain intact, participation is guaranteed in all its dimensions and the urban diversity of our cities and the quality of life of their populations remain priorities.
 To do justice to this urban socio-cultural diversity, we collaborated with artists from various cultures and countries – Cameroon, Germany, England, India and Japan. Thus, the peculiarities and character of the cities and their urban communities are also reflected in the book’s graphical realization.
This comic condenses into an illustrated story the fundamental findings of Humanity on the move: Unlocking the transformative power of cities, a report published by the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). We hope this book encourages urban societies to champion the liveable and sustainable design of their cities with creativity and fun.

About the author

Messner, Dirk

Political Scientist


Further experts

Chan, Sander

Enviroment Policy 

Kuhn, Sascha

Social Psychologist 

Malerba, Daniele


Mathis, Okka Lou

Political Scientist 

Fuhrmann, Hanna


Yu, Lu

Agricultural Economist 

Aleksandrova, Mariya

Climate risk governance 

Baumann, Max-Otto

Political Scientist 

Richerzhagen, Carmen

Agricultural and Environmental Economist 

Stoffel, Tim

Political Scientist 

Sturm, Janina

Economist and political scientist 

Wehrmann, Dorothea


Weinlich, Silke

Political Scientist 

Hilbrich, Sören


Kloke-Lesch, Adolf

Urban and regional planner 

Lynders, Eva-Maria

Political Science 

Kaplan, Lennart


Bauer, Steffen

Political scientist 

Brandi, Clara

Economist and Political Scientist 

Götze, Jacqueline

Political Scientist 

Hackenesch, Christine

Political Scientist 

Iacobuta, Gabriela

Environmental Researcher 

Janus, Heiner

Political Scientist 

Keijzer, Niels

Social Scientist 

Koch, Svea

Social Scientist 

Laudage, Sabine


Loewe, Markus


Never, Babette

Political Scientist 

Pegels, Anna


Srigiri, Srinivasa Reddy

Agricultural Economist