Understanding Urbanization: NATO Planning For The Complexities Of The Future
Gordon Pendleton & Jozsef Bodnar
Wing Commander (Ret) Gordon Pendleton, Royal Air Force, and Lieutenant Colonel Jozsef Bodnar, Hungarian Air Force, currently work for the Concept Development Branch of the NATO Allied Command Transformation, and have been tackling the issue of increasing urbanization around the globe. Since 2008, over half of the world’s population has been concentrated in cities, predominately in coastal regions. As the densities in these urban areas increase, so too does the strain on infrastructures and other systems (economic, social, and governance) that were not designed for current concentrations. Wing Commander Pendleton and Lieutenant Colonel Bodnar have been tasked with assessing the impact of urbanization on NATO military operations over the next 20 years, including peacekeeping, stability and support operations, natural disaster relief, and warfighting in densely populated urban areas. Their project epitomizes multinational thinking. Twenty-eight countries have been involved in the planning, illustrating the diversity of ideas and perspectives each team member brings to the process.