Friday, March 18, 2011

World's big cities set to become even more crowded

The world's big cities are already bursting at the seams but are set to grow even larger, with experts predicting that some 70 per cent of the world's population will be urban by 2050.

This will put great strains on infrastructure and the environment, and presents a major challenge to city planners, developers and mayors who gathered here this week at MIPIM, the world's leading annual real estate event, to look for the best way forward.

"The future of the world lies in cities," London's mayor Boris Johnson told a packed auditorium at the opening day of MIPIM Monday.

He was among leaders taking part in a "mayor's think-tank" here, who say they are increasingly starting to work together in looking for urban development initiatives to improve the quality of life for their citizens.

"We have to keep putting the village back into the city because that is fundamentally what human beings want and aspire to," Johnson told the crowd, adapting a famous statement made by India's Mahatma Gandhi that the future of India lay in its 70,000 villages. (read more)