First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
year 2025
Banned
18448 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
38 / M / toronto
Offline
Posted 4/2/08
The 10 biggest cities of 2025
Tom Van Riper

The age of the mega city is just beginning. Ready or not, huge metros are growing across the globe. The question is how many are ready, from an infrastructural and environmental standpoint, to handle the load.

Experts say that it's a mixed bag but that many have a long way to go.

Go to Forbes.com to view the slideshow

(Opens new window)

Not long ago, demographers were predicting the demise of the city. A swing to a service economy in the developed world, combined with technology allowing businesses to set up shop anywhere and workers to telecommute, would be the catalysts in eliminating the need for people to concentrate so close together.

But it hasn't worked out that way. The number of urban dwellers is expected to hit 5 billion globally by 2025--double the number of 1990, according to studies by the World Resource Institute. As it turns out, many people just like the city life, and telecommuting opportunities are limited: Doing business still requires face time.

"Humans want to be where others are. We get our energy from interacting," says Nancy Kete, director of Embarq's WRI Center for Sustainable Transport.

Not only are populations in many established mid-size cities increasing, the developing world is sprouting giant urban centers left and right.

Asia and Latin America, each cluttered with rural workers looking for better jobs and housing in the city, are slated to have nine of the world's 10 most populous cities by 2025. Among them: Mumbai, Calcutta and Delhi in India, Karachi in Pakistan and Shanghai, China. Latin American cities on the list include Mexico City and San Paulo, Brazil.

New York and Tokyo are the only traditional power cities expected to remain on the mega cities list in 17 years.

The World Resource Institute predicts 33 mega cities--those with populations exceeding 8 million--by 2025. That's up from 21 in 1990, not to mention two in 1950 (London and New York). All but six of the 33 will be in the developing world.

That many of these metropolises rely on manufacturing for much of their economies makes an urban environment, with its cheap transportation and closely packed labour market, that much more appealing.

The problem lies in preparedness. Many of today's and tomorrow's mega cities aren't planning ahead for how they'll improve transportation (moving more and more people around), housing (to avoid overcrowding) and pollution.

The risk is a loss of economic productivity, as congestion increases and long commutes--already averaging a three-hour round trip in some places--become even longer.

"None of these cities, other than New York, have made a decision to have a vision for the 21st century," Kete says. "They are choking on their own growth."

Mexico City officials, for instance, are hamstrung by the country's failure to invest in more mass transit in surrounding areas, Kete thinks.

Instead of investing in Mexico City's infrastructure, the Mexican government is using land allocation policies, such as subsidies for factories, to encourage people to move elsewhere.

"The plan is to curtail the growth of Mexico City (instead of facing it head on)," says Owen Gutfreund, director of urban studies at Columbia University. That's not a bad approach, he figures, compared with the alternative: seeing the city's population balloon faster than the infrastructure can keep up.

Gutfreund holds up Shanghai as an example of a forward-thinking mega city, noting its expansion of rapid transit--a 25% increase in average square footage per residential household--and aggressive development of space aimed at placing housing, business and public transport close to each other.

Both he and Kete are most critical of Mumbai, which hasn't embarked on any real urban planning despite an expected 1.8% annual population growth that will likely result in over 26 million inhabitants by 2025.

A big swath in the middle of the city remains poor and congested, despite a robust overall economy that's yielded a per capita income three times India's national average.

Go to Forbes.com to view the slideshow

In Pictures: The World's 10 Biggest Cities in 2025


7692 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
28 / M
Offline
Posted 4/2/08
No Shit
Posted 4/2/08
very interesting post thank you for that.

and person above me, grow up.
4512 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
116 / F / SMILY♥LAND
Offline
Posted 4/2/08
Nice article. Yes, there is too much pollution. I hope we can use car that run on electricity soon, I heard they invented them except they're too expensive?
11277 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
32 / M / Iloilo City, PH
Offline
Posted 4/2/08
they've already invented a car that runs on compressed air...
15556 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
22 / F / Malaysia,South Ea...
Offline
Posted 4/2/08
kinda nice......
blaze1 
54622 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / M / ocoee,FL, America
Offline
Posted 4/2/08
wow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
841 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
24 / M / Philippines
Offline
Posted 4/2/08
Cool. I hope im still alive in that time... i guess..
3769 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27
Offline
Posted 4/2/08
I'm suprised Seoul wasn't on there. I think after this whole "Westernization" thing completes its cycle Koreas birthrate will go back up and Seoul will grow even larger.
Posted 4/2/08
very nice article
3187 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / Sweden
Offline
Posted 4/2/08
Cant find the slideshow...
299 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
25 / F / ireland
Offline
Posted 4/2/08
website isnt working
5006 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
26 / M / Sheffield
Offline
Posted 4/2/08
Yes, no shit.

Jawk
1505 cr points
Send Message: Send PM GB Post
27 / F / non of yr bis
Offline
Posted 4/2/08
wooow thats kl
Posted 4/2/08
i love urban cities like HK!
First  Prev  1  2  Next  Last
You must be logged in to post.