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July 13, 2018

Researchers claim: ‘Everything we’ve heard about global urbanization turns out to be wrong’

This Place article talks about new research on urbanisation, which shows that the world is a lot more urban than we think. Excerpts:


"Using a definition made possible by advances in geospatial technology that can use a high-resolution satellite image to determine the number of people living in a given area, they [researchers at the European Commission] estimate 84 percent of the world's population, or almost 6.4 billion people, live in urban areas....


Asia and Africa, which are routinely cited as majority-rural continents that are rapidly urbanizing, turn out to be well ahead of figures in the U.N.'s latest estimates.


Once thought to be about 50 percent and 40 percent urban respectively, the new research argues Asia and Africa are closer to 90 percent and 80 percent, or roughly double previous estimates.


Those percentages translate to billions of additional people living in cities and urban areas, such as towns and suburbs, than previously thought.


'If this is true, the impact is going to be massive,' Dijkstra said. 'A lot of development aid was geared toward rural.'..."


Read the whole article here.

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