The Metropolitan Century

Understanding Urbanisation and its Consequences

image of The Metropolitan Century

The report provides an outline of recent and likely future urbanisation trends and discusses the consequences. The world is in the middle of an urbanisation process that will cause urbanisation rates to rise from low double digit rates to more than 80% by the end of the century. It argues that this is both a great opportunity and a great challenge, as decisions taken today will affect the lifes of people for a long time to come. The report aims at explaining why cities exist, and what can make them prosperous and function well. It also discusses whether cities are good for residents, for the countries they are located in and for the global environment. The report argues that cities exist and grow because they are a source of economic prosperity and offer amenities that benefit their residents. It concludes that urbanisation is a process that needs to be shaped by policy makers to ensure that all benefit from it.




Urbanisation is progressing as fast as never before in history. Understanding its causes and consequences is crucial for our ability to shape the process and ensure that it will benefit all citizens. The Metropolitan Century explains why people move into cities and shows that the ongoing urbanisation process promises to improve economic conditions and the well-being of the world’s population. Urbanisation is good for residents who move into cities because they benefit from higher wages and the proximity to amenities. It is good for countries because cities tend to be more productive and innovative than rural areas. Last but not least, it is good for the environment because the environmental impact of an urban population can be smaller than the environmental impact of the same population spread out over a large rural area.


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