In coming decades, the rapid increase of large cities in the developing world and the transformation of urban landscapes in the developed world will be among the greatest challenges to human welfare and a viable global environment. Although cities occupy only 5% of the Earth's terrestrial surface, they are home to almost half the global population, who consume 75% of the world's natural resources and generate an equivalent proportion of pollution and waste. The United Nations estimates that virtually all net population growth over the next 30 years will occur in cities, doubling their population. This anticipated population growth will transform urban landscapes, create undreamed-of challenges and opportunities for political and social institutions, and require an unprecedented investment in infrastructure.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Environmental Science(all)
- Earth and Planetary Sciences(all)