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Why our Future will be Won or Lost Together
From ancient civilizations to modern metropolises, cities have been engines of progress throughout history. Today, over half of humanity resides in urban areas, a number set to soar to two-thirds by 2050.
In 1800, there were 1 billion humans sharing our planet, roughly 70 million of whom inhabited cities. Today, the global population is 8 billion, with over 4.5 billion people living in cities. By the end of the century, the total urban population will have doubled from today’s levels.
How will cities accommodate all these extra people? Where will they find employment? How will we protect ourselves from climate change, pandemics and other risks?
In Age of the City, Oxford professor Ian Goldin and The Economist's Tom Lee-Devlin show why cities are where the battles against inequality, social division, pandemics, and climate change must be confronted. They examine how globalization and technological advancements have concentrated wealth in select metropolises, leaving smaller cities and towns behind.
The continued growth of informal settlements lacking the most basic services is not only a blight on our collective conscience, but a significant risk to humanity.
Investing to improve health systems and upgrade informal settlements is part of the solution, but it is also critical to address the underlying causes of the deep poverty in many cities in the developing world.
Age of the City also explores the widening wealth gap within seemingly prosperous cities and the societal impacts of retreating into online realms. The book highlights the existential threats posed by pandemics and climate change to our increasingly urbanized world.
Through a blend of historical context and a deep understanding of present challenges, the authors illustrate why cities stand at a crucial crossroads, holding our collective destiny in balance and what we can do to build better and more inclusive cities.