Over half of the world’s megacities are located in Asia Pacific, with China accounting for nearly a fifth in 2017. Over 2017-2030, six new cities are expected to join the megacity scene, with most being in developing markets, mainly in Africa. Despite the economic growth anticipated in developing markets, absolute economic size, wealth and consumer affluence will still largely be led by developed megacities in 2030.
In the 1950s, New York emerged as the first megacity in the world i.e. a city with a metropolitan population of 10 million or more. In the space of around 60 years, an additional 32 cities have joined the megacity club and the spread of global urbanisation is seeing a continued rise of such immensely large cities. We examine key issues occurring in megacities and take a look at the cities anticipated to join the megacity scene over 2017-2030.
Jakarta: The globe’s most populous city in 2030
Jakarta is due to overtake Tokyo in 2030 to become the largest city in terms of population size. Rapid population growth in Jakarta, coupled with depopulation in Tokyo, will make the Indonesian capital the largest by population size in 2030, with 35.6 million.
African megacities to lead population surge
African megacities will lead population growth, reflecting its position as the last major continent to undergo urbanisation. It will account for the largest absolute rise in megacities over 2017-2030, adding Dar es Salaam and Luanda to the region’s current megacities of Cairo and Lagos.
Future Megacities need to be proactive to impending urban challenges
The traditional by-products of urbanisation plaguing cities: overcrowding, air-pollution, income inequality and traffic congestion will be some of the issues urban planners will need to contend with in fast-growing developing cities. For example, municipal governments have long recognised the detriment private passenger cars have on city life and the move to more ecologically friendly alternatives such as cycling, car-sharing schemes and public transportation have been embraced in response to such pressures. This trend has been quite ubiquitous across many developed megacities, though the same cannot be said about developing ones where underinvestment and societal norms have stymied the growth of such urban models. Developing cities should seize the initiative of learning from the mistakes endured by previously fast-growing developed cities by, for instance, implementing Smart City initiatives—whether this is to reduce air pollution, or improve waste management efficiency—in an attempt to raise livability, workability and ecological sustainability.
Despite the economic growth anticipated in developing markets, absolute economic size, wealth and consumer affluence will still largely be led by developed megacities in 2030. To learn more about the six new cities that are expected to join the megacity scene over the next 12 years, buy the new report “Global Overview of Megacities”.