Cities of the future will be shaped by a number of trends, including increasing urban digitalisation and connectivity, growing sustainability, better urban planning management, increasing consumer purchasing power in developing and emerging cities, and the need for clean and seamless mobility. Between 2020 and 2040, the global urban population will reach 5.8 billion, with 95% of the growth expected in developing and emerging markets. By 2040, 64% of the world’s population will be urban.
By 2040, 64% of the globe’s population will be living in cities. Sub-Saharan African cities will be the drivers of population growth over the next 20 years. Luanda, Dar es Salaam and Kampala are just some of the few cities in the region that will experience a population boom. This will offer both business opportunities but also social and economic challenges in managing the rise.
Between 2020 and 2040, eight megacities will be added, putting the total at 42. The new megacities will mostly emerge in developing and emerging market economies, representing the concentration of urban population growth, especially in Asia and Africa. India will join China as having the largest number of megacities with six.
Cities are digitalising and becoming more hyperconnected. This is being driven by increasing consumer access to the internet. By 2040, most cities will have internet access with growth largely arising from developing and emerging cities. This is going to open new opportunities in e-commerce, e-banking and other internet based services.
Cities account for 70% of global carbon emissions. This is pushing ahead a need for urban areas to become more progressive in their stance on tackling climate change. This includes developing cleaner mobility options, increasing access to green open spaces and driving up the use of renewable energy.
Developing cities will continue being the frontiers for economic growth. Disposable incomes are surging and this is creating a new urban middle class. It will bring more opportunities for domestic and international businesses to exploit.
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