More than half of the global population already lives in urban areas. As a consequence of migration, natural demographic growth and urban boundary expansion, it is projected that in 2050 two thirds of the global population will live in cities. About 90 percent of future urbanization will happen in emerging and developing countries, especially Asia and Africa, where small and medium-sized cities grow the fastest.
In cities challenges and potentials of global development converge. A still increasing number of city-dwellers live and work informally and lack access to adequate social and technical infrastructure. Cities produce approx. 70 percent of greenhouse gas emissions and infringe on rural land-uses and resources. But, they are also hubs of economic growth, social and environmental transformation and climate adaptation extending to the connected rural and worldwide areas.
A global road map for sustainable urban development during the next twenty years was agreed on at the Habitat III World Conference on Housing and Sustainable Urban Development in October 2016 in Quito, Ecuador: The New Urban Agenda. At the ninth World Urban Forum in February 2018 in Kuala Lumpur concrete steps for the implementation of the New Urban Agenda were discussed. The first session oft he UN-Habitat Assembly in May 2019 focuses on innovations for cities and communities.
This web special compiles research of the German Development Institute / Deutsches Institut für Entwicklungspolitik (DIE) on the issue of “urbanisation”.