The Dynamics of Global Urban Expansion

The Dynamics of Global Urban Expansion
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Many urban reports have drawn attention to the global trends of urbanisation, particularly in Africa and Asia. However, a recent report commissioned by the World Bank has vividly demonstrated the impact at city level of these global trends. Co-authored by Solly Angel, Stephen Sheppard and Daniel Civco, the Dynamics of Global Urban Expansion examined a sample of 90 cities from all over the world. 

Some of the most important policy messages contained in the document are: 

  -  Although many governments have attempted to control rural-urban migration flows, most, if not all, of these have ended in utter failure; 

  -  Urban densities in all regions are decreasing over time; If average densities continue to decline at the annual rate of 1.7% (as they have over the past decade), then the doubling of the developing world's urban population by 2030 will result in a tripling of their built-up areas. 

  -  The central message of the report is clear: Developing country cities should be making realistic plans for urban expansion, investing in trunk infrastructure and protecting sensitive land from incursion.

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