Tracking Growth in World Cities

Mega-cities of 10 million people or more are getting a lot of attention these days. But smaller big cities are really where interesting and potentially hazardous growth patterns are occurring, according to this piece.

Neal Peirce reviews new research from the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy that looks at growth patterns over time in cities across the globe -- particularly cities with populations smaller than 10 million.

"[C]umulatively, the unfolding land consumption will be the most extreme in cities above 100,000 and below the 10 million mark. There are 3,646 of these in the world. And many tell amazing growth tales.

Take Accra, capital of Ghana. Between 1985 and 2000 (latest available count), its population grew 50 percent - from 1.8 to 2.7 million. But its urban land cover spiraled 135 percent.

Using a Landsat-based sampling of physical expansion of 120 word cities between 1990 and 2000, Shlomo (Solly) Angel and his associates at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy found they were all growing physically at least twice as fast as their populations were actually increasing."

Full Story: World Cities: Where to Put Their Oncoming Billions?

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