Chapter 6: What are the Characteristics of Global Urban Competitiveness?
6. What are the characteristics of global urban competitiveness? From 2008 into the future, more than 50 percent of the world population will live in cities. While the trend of urbanization is becoming increasingly clear worldwide, the development of small and medium cities remains critical. On the one hand, as people continue to move in, major cities are experiencing reverse urbanization and suburbanization in developed countries. As more and more cities join together owing to urban sprawls, the trend of metropolization is seen in many developed countries. On the other hand, in developing countries, medium and large cities tend to have better infrastructures. In the course of accelerated urbanization, people tend to concentrate in such cities in massive scale. As a result, more and more metropolises with populations of millions or even tens of millions are emerging, and the trend of metropolization is also clear. Nevertheless, the bulk part of the urban growth will occur in small cities and towns.1 By 2025, more than half of the urban population will still live in small and medium cities with population less than half a million. Figure 6.1 and Table 6.1 show urban population distribution in the world. THE URBANIZATION PROCESSES AND SIZES OF CITIES HAVE DISTINCT CHARACTERISTICS IN EACH CONTINENT In Europe, North America, Oceania and other developed regions, more than 70 percent of the population lives in cities. In some of the developing regions, including Latin America and the Caribbean countries, 78 percent of the population lives in cities. This...
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