1887

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.

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How cities affect citizens, countries and the environment

This chapter examines the role of cities in the local, national and supra-national dimension. For each of these levels, the chapter asks the question of whether cities are “good”. The first section considers whether cities are good for their residents, with an emphasis on the trade-off between the benefits and costs that arise from agglomeration for city residents. Taking the question to the national level, the second section investigates whether cities are good for their country. This section considers the concentration of countries’ activity in cities, the role of cities for innovation and the impact of cities beyond their borders. The final section asks whether cities are good for the planet, focusing on the environmental footprint of cities.

English

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