In 1801 around 3% of the world’s population was urban; it is currently 50% and by 2050 it will be up around 70%*.
Many of the cities that will shape the future have hardly, if at all, been built yet. We know of Jakarta, Dhaka & Lagos but what about Nouakchott, Douala, Temuco or Bamako? In 1975 there were just three global megacities: New York, Mexico City and Tokyo. Now there are 20+**. Right now more than a million people worldwide are moving from rural to urban areas every day. Today one fifth of the world’s population lives in around 600 cities, which together generate 50% of the global GDP. By 2050 there will be 25 mega cities on the planet. Urbanisation itself creates issues – it stretches resources and impacts on climate change. It puts a strain on unplanned infrastructure. The less affluent are displaced by the wealthy – leaving essential workers unable to live near to their workplace. Diversity of skills and attitudes is reduced as artists, writers, sculptors, musicians, eccentrics and assorted oddballs who add colour and real difference leave. The vital creativity needed for significant intellectual property, scientific breakthroughs, cutting edge arts and culture can be stymied.