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10 things to know about the impacts of urbanisation

Briefing/policy papers

Written by Meera Murali, Joseph Feyertag, Tom Hart, Amina Khan, Ian Langdown, Paula Lucci, Stephen Gelb

Hero image description: Cities need to create better jobs. An infographic from ODI's '10 things to know about the impacts of urbanisation' paper. Image credit:ODI

Most cities are growing quickly, with the majority of growth projected to be in low-income countries in Africa and Asia. By 2050, 6.5 billion people will live in urban centres – two-thirds of the projected world population.

Urban living offers many benefits to residents including more job opportunities and higher incomes, and to businesses including lower input costs, greater collaboration and innovation opportunities. But urbanisation – especially if it is rapid – also brings challenges.

City governments and policy-makers must plan for and manage the impacts of urbanisation on poverty, inequality, employment, services, transport, climate change and politics. Only by addressing these interconnected issues, and both the technical and political barriers to change, can they ensure a good quality of life for millions of urban dwellers.

Infographic: The number of urban poor is on the rise. © ODI 2018.
Infographic: More people are living in insecure, rented housing. © ODI 2018.
Infographic: Cities will need 331 million new low-cost homes by 2025. © ODI 2018.
Infographic: The number of people without basic water and sanitation is increasing. © ODI 2018.
Infographic: Growing cities lead to more congestion and traffic fatalities. © ODI 2018.
Infographic: In many cities, energy demand will rise faster than population growth. © ODI 2018.
Infographic: Poor air quality in cities poses serious health risks. © ODI 2018.
Infographic: Cities need to create better jobs. © ODI 2018.
Infographic: City governments in poor countries remain under-resourced. © ODI 2018.
Infographic: The challenges of urbanisation are political, not just technical. © ODI 2018.

Meera Murali, Clare Cummings, Joseph Feyertag, Stephen Gelb, Tom Hart, Amina Khan, Ian Langdown and Paula Lucci