Global Trends to 2030 : The Future of Urbanization and Megacities
"Cities have played a more important role in shaping the world than empires" (quote from M. Bloomberg, former mayor of New York (in office 2020-2013).
For the past two decades, the world has seen its population increasingly concentrated in urban areas. This trend is not new but will speed up at a remar-kable rate in years to come. Rising global urbanization is one of the defining trends of the 21st century. Projections show that urbanization combined with the overall growth of the world population could add another 2.5 billion people to the urban population by 2050. The megacity is a new form of urbanization, which has been described as the urban phenomenon of the 21st century. In 1950, only New York and Tokyo had a population of over 10 million. By 2025-2030, it is estimated that around 630 million people will live in close to 40 megacities around the world. Megacities are an invention of the West and have become a reality in the East. Japan's capital Tokyo will still be the largest of them all, followed by Delhi and Shanghai. The list is dominated by cities in Asia, but several in Latin America and Africa will grow rapidly as well. In addition to these megacities, about 400 million people will live in cities of 5-10 million people, and just over 1 billion people are expected be living in cities of 1-5 million. However, most of the world's urban population will still live in cities of less than 1 million people. The consequences of modern urbanization must not be underestimated. In today globalized world, "local" and "global" are more and more interconnected and many developments at urban level are in fact part of global trends. Understanding the causes and consequences of urbanization is crucial to ensuring a proper response to the global issues of our time and in preparing for the period ahead.
ORBIS is powered by ESPAS, the European Strategy and Policy Analysis System, a unique inter-institutional project aimed at strengthening the EU's efforts in the crucial area of forward planning. ESPAS brings together the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Secretariat General of the Council of the European Union and the European External Action Service to strengthen the Union's collective administrative capacity to identify and analyse the key trends and challenges, and the resulting policy choices, which are likely to confront Europe and the wider world in the decades ahead.