The Atlas of Urban Expansion, a critical online resource for data and images tracking global urbanization, will be updated and expanded in a new 2015 edition to reflect the scope of large and fast-growing metropolitan areas around the world. At the World Urban Forum in Medellin last month, leaders from the United Nations Human Settlements Program (U.N. Habitat), the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy, and the NYU Stern Urbanization Project signed an agreement to support the research leading to the online publication on their respective websites of the Atlas of Urban Expansion: The 2015 Edition.
Today over half the world’s population lives in cities; in the coming decades, two-thirds of the global population will be in cities – six billion people out of a projected total of nine billion. The growth will occur predominantly in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.
Keeping track of urban expansion is thus a critical component of informing policy and assisting cities in planning for the future. The Atlas of Urban Expansion 2015 Edition will contain maps and metrics describing the expansion of a new global sample of 200 cities, an increase from the 120 cities originally studied.