Spatial Dynamics in the Urban Century
New Horizons in Regional Science series
Edited by Karima Kourtit, Peter Nijkamp and Roger R. Stough
Chapter 5: Multi-actor analysis of metropolitan performance indicators
Our society lives in the ‘urban century’. Massive urbanization trends are increasingly seen as one of the hottest fields of research and policy, as these megatrends are decisive for the sustainable future of our planet. The development of urban systems and metropolitan areas is indeed critically dependent on various spatial-demographic forces of a global nature. First, the change in the world population will likely amount to approximately 2–3 percent growth per annum in the decades to come (see United Nations 2011). Consequently, the earth will most likely have to be the habitat for at least 9 billion people by the year 2050 (Kourtit 2014). A second megatrend is the likely unequal spread of these rising numbers of people. It is forecasted that there will likely be an increasing geographic skewness in the spatial distribution of the world population, with a rapid rate of increase in major regions like Latin America, Africa and Asia, accompanied by a modest rate of increase, and even stable development, in other parts of the world (in particular, Europe). Some countries like Japan or France may even show a considerable reduction in absolute population size (Kourtit 2014).
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