Rapid urbanisation


Available in 中文 (Chinese)

Globally we are on track for 60% urbanisation by 2030: In the developed world consolidation will be even more intense with an estimated 81% of the population living in cities. The majority of this will happen in Africa and Asia.

Whilst urbanisation creates huge opportunities for smart, eco-cities, there are also significant challenges that come with different types of urbanisation including tremendous demands on infrastructure and the environment, provision of services and job creation. Cities consume three quarters of the world’s natural resources.

New York, Beijing, Shanghai and London will need $8 trillion in infrastructure investments alone over the next decade. By 2030, solid waste management will dominate municipal budgets in low and middle income countries.

This megatrend has built-in tension due to demographic change. Many cities are set to grow with 1.5 million people a week joining cities across the world through a combination of migration and childbirth. However, around 100 of the top cities are expected to shrink over the next 10 years, in part due to aging populations in countries like Germany, Italy, Japan, South Korea and China. New centres of growth are emerging in Asia and in Africa. So how do we plan, build and lead better cities?

Healthy cities are about everything we do in our urban lives: our work and our communities, our natural and built environment, the social, digital and financial layers around them. Cities are undergoing profound changes, from new practices in construction and utilities, to transport and logistics, from how we do healthcare to how we share our cities. They are as much about smart technologies and financial flows, as they are about the art that flourishes and outlasts laws. The focus of future cities is ultimately on increasing opportunity and improving the quality of life for the people living in them.

What are megatrends and how they are shaping the future of business?

Impactful Technology
Demographic change
Rapid urbanisation

Accelerating individualisation

Economic power shift
Climate and resource security


A tale of two megacities

Cities with affluent residents – and corresponding high consumption lifestyles, account for the largest carbon footprints.