We are living in an urban world. Over half the world’s population is estimated to reside in urban centers, with a concentration of urban population growth in less-developed regions, particularly in Asia, which is home to 11 mega-cities (cities with a population of over 10 million people). Most of these metropolitan areas are in warm to hot climates. One challenge lies in anticipating the energy requirements of these urban populations for keeping cool, particularly as increases in affluence can translate to a moving-up on the energy ladder from biomass to fossil fuels, and from fans to air-conditioning. This book is focused on a specific form of consumption directly related to energy, climate and the environment: electricity consumption for residential cooling in Southeast Asia’s mega-cities. It takes on the question of how people go about keeping cool in their everyday lives in Metro Manila, the Philippines, and how this relates to efforts to reduce energy consumption towards more ‘sustainable’ consumption patterns — reflecting as well on other mega-cities in the region.
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