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July 28, 2016

Preliminary findings from the Global Cities Summit

The Lincoln Institute of Land Policy weighs in on the expanding footprint of sprawling cities. This analysis was part of a preview of the revised and expanded Atlas of Urban Expansion, a partnership of UN-Habitat, the New York University Urban Expansion Program, and the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy.


"In a presentation titled “The Case for Planning” at the Urban Age Shaping Cities conference at the Biennale, UN-Habitat executive director Joan Clos said that a preliminary analysis of a representative sample of 200 cities showed a pervasive lack of urban planning in fast-growing metropolitan areas struggling to accommodate millions of mostly poor rural migrants. The unplanned and unfettered growth is bad for the environment, increases the cost of delivering basic services, and hinders economic activity and food security, he said...


Shlomo “Solly” Angel, a professor and senior research scholar at NYU, said that cities are growing upwards and outwards, and the amount of outward expansion, or “urban extent,” is typically underestimated. For example, in 2000, the built-up area of Zhengzhou, China was 286 square kilometers. According to its master plan approved in 2009, its built-up area was expected to reach 400 square kilometers by 2020. But in fact, the city reached 612 square kilometers by 2015.


...The centerpiece will be the global sample of 200 cities, showing growth from 1990 and 2015, a period when the area occupied by cities in more developed countries increased by a factor of 1.8, and in less developed countries increased by a factor of 3.5. If that rate continues, the total amount of land taken over by urban land use would be equivalent to the entire country of India."


Read more of the blog post here.

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