Urbanization: Past, Present and Future Revolution of Cities
There is an ongoing search for what the smart city of tomorrow looks like. These bustling metropolises will make use of big data, AI, renewables, and a lot of automation. They will also have technologies that are yet being developed.
Since the Industrial Revolution, there has been an accelerating increase in natural population growth rate. Besides that, there is another reason for an increase in population: the in-migration of people. Since the first cities, there has been a continuous inflow from rural areas to urban areas. The migration to the cities is due to several factors including more opportunities for work and career in urban areas, as well as the location of university campuses near urban centers, better health care and other amenities and facilities.
The inflow of immigrants to countries leads to an increase in the population, which is vital for these developed countries to maintain their continued economic growth. Most immigrants in turn opt to live in urban centers. For those who live in rural areas, they move to cities for the same reason as people migrate from poorer countries to richer countries. It is all a matter of economics and opportunities for better employment.
Growth is a natural result of success for a city. With more businesses establishing themselves within a given urban area, there are more people employed. Factories starting up around an urban area do not only attract employees but also associated businesses which supply the factory. The success and continued growth of a company also increases the number of workers and companies it works with. With more success, there are more opportunities for growth, and with more opportunities, there is a further need for new workers. This dynamics of growth would explain why the biggest growth in cities would be seen in Asia and Africa.
Tomorrow’s megacities would be coming from these continents as they try to catch up with the developed world. It is expected that by 2030, the ten biggest cities in terms of population will be: Tokyo, Japan (37.2 million); Delhi, India (36.1 million); Shanghai, China (30.8 million); Mumbai, India (27.8 million); Beijing, China (27.7 million); Dhaka, Bangladesh (27.4 million); Karachi, Pakistan (24.8 million) Cairo, Egypt (24.5 million); Lagos, Nigeria (24.2 million); and Mexico City, Mexico (23.9 million).