The Inevitable Future of Cities

Posted By on September 1, 2015

In 2014 the United Nations stated that 54% of the world’s population lives in urban areas, a proportion that is expected to increase to 66 per cent by 2050. Their projections show that urbanization combined with the overall growth of the world’s population could add another 2.5 billion people to urban populations by 2050, with close to 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa, according to a new United Nations report launched today.

This means that running efficient and cohesive cities, and megacities (those in excess of 10 million people) will become more important than ever for maintaining humanity.

The Inevitable Future of Cities showcases some amazing stories of cities that beg the question ‘How will city life be in the future?’.

Kowloon Walled City

The Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong was once the densest place on earth, a virtually lawless labyrinth of crime, grime, commerce and hope. A Wall Street Journal documentary tracks its colorful legacy and brings the place alive 20 years later. In 2.8 hectares there are 33,000 people, 1,000 businesses, and 8,800 homes.

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People are touting Lagos as the future financial hub of Africa. Nigeria’s capital is the fastest growing megacity in the world. The population of Lagos urban area, according to the Lagos State Government is 17.5 million, a number disputed by the Nigerian Government and judged unreliable by the National Population Commission of Nigeria. Lagos was reported in 2014 to have a metropolitan population of 21 million, making Lagos the largest metropolitan area in Africa.

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Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro has over 6 million people. It’s a city of contrasts with the rich living on the beaches and on the edges of favelas. These places are hailed as dangerous however life perseveres. Here we see a Diego Deane’s documentary illustrating the struggles and blessings of living in Brazil’s largest favela, Rocinha.

Graffiti artist, and art activist, JR, undertook the Women Are Heroes project in the Morro da Providencia flavela in Rio de Janiero, Brazil in 2008. His intention was to highlight the dignity of women who occupy crucial roles in societies, and find themselves victims of wartime, street crime, sexual assault, and religious and political extremism in Africa, Brazil, India and Cambodia.

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Dark Cities

As cities compete for a livability high score, ownership becomes a four letter word – fairness, a forgotten concept. Ryan Betts talks about how cities have changed, how ownership is dwindling and the changing dynamics of cities.

This talk was part of the DARK FUTURES event series held in Vancouver, BC in 2014.

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Nikolas Badminton is a world-respected futurist speaker that researches, speaks, and writes about the future of work, how technology is affecting the workplace, how workers are adapting, the sharing economy, and how the world is evolving. He appears at conferences in Canada, USA, UK, and Europe. Email him to book him for your radio, TV show, or conference.


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