The Rise of Mega Cities
The human population on planet earth has risen to a whopping 7.2+ billion people, more than doubling in size since just the late 1960’s. Our creativity and ingenuity has made such an explosion in population possible, and remarkably, the earth is still able to abundantly provide for us, albeit under under increasing duress.
According to a recent report by the United Nations on world urbanization prospects, the world is increasingly migrating towards urban environments which is creating a rise in mega-cities, metropolises with over 10 million inhabitants.
Currently there are 28 mega-cities on planet earth, whereas in 1990 there were only 10, and over the next 15 years it is projected that we will have at least 41 such cities. Tokyo is presently the largest of these cities, with a whopping 38+ million residents, followed by Delhi, India, with 25 million then Shanghai, China, then Mexico City. Asia is home to 16 of these cities, Latin America hosts 4 mega-cities, Africa and Europe each have 3, while North America has two.
At present, 12% of the world’s people are living in mega-cities, with an additional 54% living in other urban areas. Up until 2007, there were more people living in rural areas than in urban areas, and the process of rapid urbanization appears to be a continuing trend, with Asia and Africa projected to lead the boom in mega-city development in coming decades.
Depending on your perspective, this may be viewed as a positive or a negative trend, but without question the human race faces tremendous challenges in sustaining such extreme population growth and urban sprawl while maintaining a healthy and in-balance environment.
Take a look at the following graphic to help put this into perspective:
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