Urban sprawl

Globally, 70 million people move to the cities from the country every year, and nearly half the world's population is already urbanised.

by Strategy & Business
Last Updated: 23 Jul 2013

This is causing a deceleration in population growth as women acquire economic opportunities and reproductive control.

Given current trends, the world's population is expected to peak around 2050 at 7.5-9 billion (from 6.5 billion now). Developing world cities will see the greatest growth, primarily in squatter cities. The 1 billion residents of squatter cities are expected to grow to 3 billion by 2050. Squatter cities will therefore continue to be enormous economic events - even if much of that activity is informal.

Lacking security of tenure, squatters are highly entrepreneurial; they are also huge potential markets, and Brazilian utilities are working with these communities to improve infrastructure and create revenues.

City planet
Stewart Brand
Strategy & Business, spring 2006.

Reviewed by Steve Lodge.

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