Most of the expected increase in the world’s population over the next forty years, 1.5-3 billion people, is expected to be located in the cities of the developing world. Previously we written about rapid urbanization in developing world in – Planet of Slums, World Urban Forum, urban innovation, and visualizing global urbanization. The UN expects that sometime in 2008 most people will live in cities. The Christian Science Monitor writes:
This demographic shift is mostly taking place in Africa and Asia, largely in low-income settlements in developing countries – much of it in the 22 “megacities” whose populations will exceed 10 million and in some cases grow to more than 20 million by 2015.
“Unplanned and chaotic urbanization is taking a huge toll on human health and the quality of the environment, contributing to social, ecological, and economic instability in many countries,” warns the report, which is written by demographers, international program officials, and other experts from the United States and other countries. …
But the news is not all bad. Researchers find examples of cities from Karachi, Pakistan to Freetown, Sierra Leone to Bogotá, Colombia with projects aimed at improving the lives of urban dwellers while reducing the environmental impact of concentrated populations. These include urban farming plots, solar water heaters, economic cooperatives, improved sewer facilities, and upgraded transportation systems.