World Urbanization Prospects The 2014 Revision

WUPIntroduction
In today’s increasingly global and interconnected world, over half of the world’s population (54 per cent) lives in urban areas although there is still substantial variability in the levels of urbanization across countries. The coming decades will bring further profound changes to the size and spatial distribution of the global population. The continuing urbanization and overall growth of the world’s population is projected to add 2.5 billion people to the urban population by 2050, with nearly 90 per cent of the increase concentrated in Asia and Africa. At the same time, the proportion of the world’s population living in urban areas is expected to increase, reaching 66 per cent by 2050.
There is great diversity in the characteristics of the world’s urban environs: close to half of urban dwellers reside in relatively small settlements of less than 500,000 inhabitants, while nearly one in eight live in the 28 mega-cities of 10 million inhabitants or more. The number of mega-cities has nearly tripled since 1990; and by 2030, 41 urban agglomerations are projected to house at least 10 million inhabitants each. Whereas several decades ago most of the world’s largest urban agglomerations were found in the more developed regions, today’s large cities are concentrated in the global South, and the fastest-growing agglomerations are mediumsized cities and cities with 500,000 to 1 million inhabitants located in Asia and Africa.

Read more (PDF)http://esa.un.org/WUP2014-Highlights.pdf

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Rural Landscapes Journal

RuralLandscapeRural Landscapes is a peer-reviewed academic journal dedicated to interdisciplinary landscape research. Focussing on the key topics of society, environment and history, the aim of the journal is to be a forum for empirically grounded and theoretically informed studies of past and present processes of change in rural landscapes, in all parts of the world.

The journal is interdisciplinary in scope, and open for contributions from a broad range of research fields, such as historical ecology, political ecology, rural development, landscape ecology, historical geography, palaeo-ecology and landscape studies etc. A specific aim is to promote theoretical, conceptual, methodological and empirical exchange and insights between studies of past landscapes and present processes. Contributions on prehistoric, historic and contemporary landscape processes or all combined as well as local, regional and global perspectives are all equally welcome.

The academic study of rural landscapes is a diverse research field, spanning a broad range of academic disciplines, as well as thematic, methodological and theoretical concerns and interests. Building on the long-standing practice of interdisciplinary collaboration in landscape research and recognition of the many critical insights gained through diachronic studies and dialogue across disciplines, the journal Rural Landscapes aims to be a leading academic forum for the blending, contrasting and bridging of historical and contemporary landscape studies and environmental and societal perspectives on rural landscape change.

Rural Landscapes is foremost a journal for publication of research findings (research articles), but short comments and communications of relevance to the contents of the journal are also welcome.

See: http://www.rurallandscapesjournal.com/

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NARCIS – National Academic Research and Collaborations Information System ~ Urban Studies

narcisNARCIS: The gateway to scholarly information in the Netherlands. Urban Studies: 858 publications – 14 datasets – 172 research projects

NARCIS is the main national portal for those looking for information about researchers and their work. Besides researchers, NARCIS is also used by students, journalists and people working in educational and government institutions as well as the business sector.
NARCIS provides access to scientific information, including (open access) publications from the repositories of all the Dutch universities, KNAW, NWO and a number of research institutes, datasets from some data archives as well as descriptions of research projects, researchers and research institutes.

This means that NARCIS cannot be used as an entry point to access complete overviews of publications of researchers (yet). At the national level, however, there are plans to incorporate the publication data from the academic Metis systems in NARCIS. By doing so, it will become possible to create much more complete publication lists of researchers. In addition, NARCIS presents research news from, among others, Intermediair Nieuws, Science Guide and several universities.
In 2004, the development of NARCIS started as a cooperation project of KNAW Research Information, NWO, VSNU and METIS, as part of the development of services within the DARE programme of SURF foundation. This project resulted in the NARCIS portal, in which the DAREnet service was incorporated in January 2007.  NARCIS has been part of DANS since 2011.

Go to: http://www.narcis.nl/urban%20studies

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Bjarke Ingels Will Make You Believe In The Power Of Architecture

Architect Bjarke Ingels at WIRED by Design, 2014. In partnership with Skywalker Sound, Marin County, CA.

To learn more visit:http://video.wired.com/watch/bjarke-ingels

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McKinsey Global Institute ~ Four Steps To Fix the Global Affordable Housing Shortage

Photo: stealmag.com

Photo: stealmag.com

According to global consultancy firm McKinsey & Company, the projected cost of providing affordable housing to 330 million households around the world currently living in substandard accommodation is $16 trillion USD. The firm’s latest report, A Blueprint for Addressing the Global Affordable Housing Challenge, assesses critical pathways for providing housing to families across a range of socio-economic backgrounds and nationalities. According to the report, adequate and affordable housing could be out of reach for more than 1.6 billion people within a decade. The comprehensive report examines everything from income to cost of heating, boiling down the data into four key mandates aimed at solving the global housing crisis.

The proposed solution is one of ascending goals, similar to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, with a four-tiered plan targeted towards households earning 80% or less of the median income for any given region. The program is designed to meet McKinsey’s 2025 Housing Challenge which aims to provide housing to a projected 440 million households worldwide within ten years through community engagement,  gathering funding, appropriate delivery of housing models, and creation of governmental infrastructure to sustain housing.

Read more: http://stealmag.com/architecture

Download and read the report in its entirety or listen to the abridged version in a podcast published by the McKinsey Global Institute in October 2014 here.

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The World Bank – Urban China ~ Toward Efficient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Urbanization

By 2030, up to 70% of the Chinese population – some one billion – will be living in cities. How could China prepare for that? Find the answers in the report “Urban China: Toward Efficient, Inclusive and Sustainable Urbanization”, as World Bank Country Director for China Klaus Rohland introduces it.

Download the report: https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/18865

In the last 30 years, China’s record economic growth lifted half a billion people out of poverty, with rapid urbanization providing abundant labor, cheap land, and good infrastructure. While China has avoided some of the common ills of urbanization, strains are showing as inefficient land development leads to urban sprawl and ghost towns, pollution threatens people’s health, and farmland and water resources are becoming scarce. With China’s urban population projected to rise to about one billion – or close to 70 percent of the country’s population – by 2030, China’s leaders are seeking a more coordinated urbanization process. Urban China is a joint research report by a team from the World Bank and the Development Research Center of China’s State Council which was established to address the challenges and opportunities of urbanization in China and to help China forge a new model of urbanization. The report takes as its point of departure the conviction that China’s urbanization can become more efficient, inclusive, and sustainable. However, it stresses that achieving this vision will require strong support from both government and the markets for policy reforms in a number of area. The report proposes six main areas for reform: first, amending land management institutions to foster more efficient land use, denser cities, modernized agriculture, and more equitable wealth distribution; second, adjusting the hukou household registration system to increase labor mobility and provide urban migrant workers equal access to a common standard of public services; third, placing urban finances on a more sustainable footing while fostering financial discipline among local governments; fourth, improving urban planning to enhance connectivity and encourage scale and agglomeration economies; fifth, reducing environmental pressures through more efficient resource management; and sixth, improving governance at the local level.

Citation: “World Bank; Development Research Center of the State Council, the People’s Republic of China. 2014. Urban China : Toward Efficient, Inclusive, and Sustainable Urbanization. Washington, DC: World Bank. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/18865 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”

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