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  • Author: Ammar A. Malik
  • Publication Date: 12-2018
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Over the next decade, cities in developing markets will drive global economic expansion. McKinsey predicts that 440 cities in emerging markets will generate half of all growth through 2025. To realize the potential of urbanization, developing cities need to become denser, easier to navigate, and more adept at using data to deliver public services. Inefficient public transit has posed a significant challenge to urban areas around the world. 1.2 billion trips are made using public transit every day, but the share of trips via public transit has declined in developing cities from 35.5 percent in 1995 to 23.7 percent in 2012.
  • Topic: Development, Economic Growth, Cities, Digital Policy
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Solomon Greene, Sarah Rosen Wartell
  • Publication Date: 10-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: A century ago, 1 in 10 people lived in urban areas; today, it’s more than half. By 2050, that fraction will rise to two thirds of the world’s population as cities of all sizes swell to accommodate an estimated 2.5 billion more urban dwellers. What will cities look like in the future? Next week, researchers from the Urban Institute will join global leaders at the United Nations’ historic Habitat III conference to take stock of our progress in creating sustainable cities that meet the needs of all residents, and to get ahead of anticipated changes that will create both opportunities and challenges for city dwellers, our nations, and our planet.
  • Topic: Development, Urban, Cities
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Solomon Greene, Benjamin Edwards, G. Thomas Kingsley
  • Publication Date: 05-2016
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Cities are where sustainable development challenges like poverty and disaster risk are felt most acutely, particularly as the world’s population shifts to urban areas. But cities can also be incubators for the policies to address those challenges, and local leaders increasingly hold the keys to fostering inclusive growth and mitigating climate change. Fortunately, city leaders across the globe are rallying behind sustainable development in all its dimensions: environmental sustainability, economic opportunity, and social inclusion. Mayors and local leaders were instrumental in securing a dedicated goal on inclusive and sustainable cities in the United Nations’s 2030 Agenda and framework of 17 high-level Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), signed by all member states at a historic summit last September. Since then, hundreds of local leaders have made commitments to support SDGs in their cities, forming new global networks and designing local implementation plans.
  • Topic: Economics, Environment, Sustainable Development Goals, Cities
  • Political Geography: Global Focus
  • Author: Benjamin Edwards, Mohammad Hamze
  • Publication Date: 11-2015
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: The world’s urban population is projected to add 2.5 billion people by 2050, with nearly 90 percent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa. The provision of safe, clean drinking water in urban settings is a high priority for international development, and justifiably so. Drinking water that is protected from contamination improves health, education, and economic growth, yet roughly 150 million urban dwellers do not have access, with numbers on the rise. Fortunately, the problem has not gone unrecognized. An expansive body of work explores the causes of water market failures and the policy interventions national governments can use to mitigate them. This body of work, however, has paid less heed to local governments’ role in implementing those policies, a critical link in the chain of service provision.
  • Topic: Development, Government, Water, Cities
  • Political Geography: Africa, Asia, Global Focus
  • Author: Ammar A. Malik, Julia Hagen
  • Publication Date: 10-2015
  • Content Type: Commentary and Analysis
  • Institution: Urban Institute
  • Abstract: Readers love lists, especially city rankings. There are lists that rank the world’s leading cities of opportunity, the most sustainable cities, the bike-friendliest cities, the top shopping cities, and even the most competitive cities in the future. What they all share is an attempt to measure cities. But what defines a city? The answer isn’t as clear-cut as it seems. Every year, leading corporations fund the publication of an increasingly large number of benchmarking studies, which generate significant interest in the media. Even the UN has jumped on this bandwagon by adapting, for the first time, an urban goal within the Sustainable Development Goals framework. However, the basic question of what constitutes a city is often defined inconsistently across rankings. This could leave general-interest readers and policymakers, confused, or worse—misled.
  • Topic: United Nations, Urbanization, Sustainable Development Goals, Cities
  • Political Geography: Global Focus