Megacities’ explosive growth poses epic challenges
A historic migration is under way around the world, from the countryside to swelling urban centers. Many of those new arrivals will find a better life. Others won’t.
For governments, businesses and policymakers trying to manage that explosive growth, pace of this mass urbanization presents an epic challenge.
“The urbanization that happened after the industrial revolution in the highly-industrialized countries was much, much more gradual than urbanization is now,” said Janice Perlman, an author and founder of the Mega-Cities Project. “Still, there was a lot of chaos and difficulty and a lot of environmental problems. But now it’s just accelerated exponentially.”
Today some three dozen cities around the world make the megacities list of more than 10 million population, including Tokyo, Chongqing, Shanghai, Beijing, São Paulo, New York, Mexico City, Mumbai, Osaka, Delhi and Dhaka, according to data compiled by Oxford Economics. By 2030 more than a dozen more will be added to the list.
Some of these new entrants to the club of these megacities will be vibrant economic and cultural centers that raise standards of living and quality of life. Others will struggle with congestion, pollution and poverty, much as developed cities did in their infancy.
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