The world’s face is constantly changing and these changes are very often the result of human activity. Urbanisation of the world is one such major transformation; most importantly, it has been ongoing for ten thousand years.

Over 3.3 billion people are city dwellers today; for the first time ever, more people are living in urban areas than in rural areas. This trend towards urbanisation will not end in the next few years, as the reasons behind urban expansion persist.

However, there are not only strongly growing cities. In the industrialised countries, especially regions with poorer economic prospects are witnessing the decline of their cities. Demographic trends there suggest that more cities will have to expect falling numbers of inhabitants in future.

What will the next few decades bring? To what extent will megacities shape our lives? What challenges will people and institutions in the megacities face? How can we impact this process of shrinking? Where are attractive locations for investment in real estate?

For further reference see also URBAN AGE, an exciting series of conferences organised by the Alfred Herrhausen Society together with the London School of Economics. At the URBAN AGE conferences experts discuss the key problems of agglomerations. Significant insights and first solutions have been presented in a major publication.

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Further links:


UN Population Division

Urban Land Institute

UN Habitat



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