World’s cities unprepared for soaring urban populations, Lincoln Institute researcher says…
NAPLES, Italy, Sept. 5, 2012 — At World Urban Forum VI in Naples, author of ‘Planet of Cities’ urges planning for massive urban expansion
New research in a book published by the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, Planet of Cities suggests that most cities of the world are woefully unprepared for the urban population explosion that will occur through the 21st century.
Planners and political leaders must begin acting now to establish basic infrastructure and make realistic projections for needed urban land, while at the same time setting aside critical green and open space, says author Shlomo “Solly” Angel, a visiting fellow at the Lincoln Institute. The book was announced at the World Urban Forum VI in Naples, sponsored by UN-Habitat. Angel presented the book’s main findings at the opening dialogue there and also discussed his companion volume, Atlas of Urban Expansion, published by the Lincoln Institute earlier this summer.
In 2010 more than half of the world’s total population lived in cities – a share expected to increase to 70 percent or more by 2050. This means the world’s urban population is projected to grow from 3.5 billion in 2010 to 6.2 billion in 2050. Almost all of these new urban residents will be in developing countries.
Although concern about sprawl in the United States, and to a certain extent recently in China, has focused on smart growth, containment, urban growth boundaries, compactness, and density, that approach is not appropriate for cities in developing countries where population densities are four times greater than in U.S. cities. Those areas are likely to more than triple their developed land areas by 2050.
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