Tomorrow's cities: how urbanisation is changing how we live

10 min read

By 2050, the UN estimates that the number of people living in our towns and cities will increase by 2.5 billion, this would mean seven out of ten people living in towns or cities. That’s equivalent to eight times the population of London every year and will cause both problems and opportunities. It’s a big challenge.

And over a third of this growth will come from just three countries: Nigeria, India and China.

Urbanisation is happening so fast that the supply of new buildings and infrastructure cannot match demand. With demand outstripping supply, the market is overheating, resulting in a higher cost of living. In many cities, infrastructure is coming to the end of its operational life cycle.

In the developing world, informal settlements are springing up rapidly and many large cities are characterised by low accessibility to electricity and clean water, overcrowded and overused public transport, and severe road congestion. Notwithstanding the urbanisation progress experienced by most cities worldwide, not all cities are seeing growth. Some post-industrial cities like Detroit are on a downward trend and facing issues such as shrinking populations, economic recession, oversupply of buildings and underused infrastructure.

Our report looks at some of the things that cities should be thinking about, and some of the solutions.

Read our full report to find out more.

This report features in our Northern Powerhouse section.

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