Category: urbanization

Ranked: The Most and Least Livable Cities in 2022


This post is by Avery Koop from Visual Capitalist


Ranked: The Most and Least Livable Cities in 2022

Ranked: The Most and Least Livable Cities in 2022

Pandemic restrictions changed the livability of many urban centers worldwide as cultural sites were shuttered, restaurant dining was restricted, and local economies faced the consequences. But as cities worldwide return to the status quo, many of these urban centers have become desirable places to live yet again.

This map uses annual rankings from the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) to show the world’s most livable cities, measuring different categories including: stability, healthcare, culture and environment, education, and infrastructure.

A Quick Note on Methodology

The ranking attempts to assess which cities across the globe provide the best living conditions, by assigning a score on 30 quantitative and qualitative measures across the five categories with the following weightings:

  1. Healthcare (20%)
  2. Culture & Environment (25%)
  3. Stability (25%)
  4. Education (10%)
  5. Infrastructure (20%)

Of the 30 factors within these categories, the qualitative ones are assigned as acceptable, tolerable, uncomfortable, undesirable, or intolerable by a team of expert analysts. Quantitative measures are given a score based on a number of external data points. Everything is then weighted to provide a score between 1-100, with 100 being the ideal.

Ranked: The 10 Most Livable Cities

Of the 172 cities included in the rankings, many of the most livable cities can be found in Europe. However, three of the top 10 are located in Canada: Vancouver, Calgary, and Toronto.

Vienna has been ranked number one many times, most recently in 2019. According to the EIU, the Austrian capital only fell (Read more...)

Visualizing the Material Impact of Global Urbanization


This post is by Bruno Venditti from Visual Capitalist


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Material Impact Urbanization

Visualizing the Material Impact of Global Urbanization

This was originally posted on Elements. Sign up to the free mailing list to get beautiful visualizations on natural resource megatrends in your email every week.

Cities only cover 2% of the world’s land surface, but activities within their boundaries consume over 75% of the planet’s material resources.

With the expansion of urban areas, the world’s material consumption is expected to grow from 41.1 billion tonnes in 2010 to about 89 billion tonnes by 2050.

In today’s graphic, we use data from the UN International Resource Panel to visualize the material impact of global urbanization.

How Material Consumption is Calculated

Today, more than 4.3 billion people or 55% of the world’s population live in urban settings, and the number is expected to rise to 80% by 2050.

Every year, the world produces an immense amount of materials in order to supply the continuous construction of human-built environments.

To calculate how much we use to build our cities, the UN uses the Domestic Material Consumption (DMC), a measure of all raw materials extracted from the domestic territory per year, plus all physical imports, minus all physical exports.

Generally, the material consumption is highly uneven across the different world regions. In terms of material footprint, the world’s wealthiest countries consume 10 times as much as the poorest and twice the global average.

Based on the total urban DMC, Eastern Asia leads the world (Read more...)

How Much Prime Real Estate Could You Buy for $1 Million?


This post is by Marcus Lu from Visual Capitalist


diagram showing how much prime real estate one can buy for $1 million in various cities

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The Briefing

  • Housing affordability can vary significantly from city to city
  • $1 million USD can buy over 6 times more space in Dubai than in Hong Kong

How Much Real Estate Could You Buy for $1 Million?

“There are three things that matter in property: location, location, location”

Those are words from Harold Samuel, a British real-estate mogul from the 1900s. Broadly speaking, it’s a quote that still holds true—property values in the world’s best cities have always been worth a pretty penny.

The scarcity of real estate is driven by trends such as urbanization, which is the migration of people into cities. While the first examples of cities were built thousands of years ago, it was only recently that the majority of the population began to live in them. In fact, the urban population just overtook the rural population for the first time in 2007.

Of course, certain cities simply hold more appeal for wealthy people, and as a result, competition in the prime real estate market can be fierce.

To learn more about (Read more...)

Mapped: Human Impact on the Earth’s Surface


This post is by Nick Routley from Visual Capitalist


Mapped: Human Impact on the Earth’s Surface

With human population on Earth approaching 8 billion (we’ll likely hit that milestone in 2023), our impact on the planet is becoming harder to ignore with each passing year.

Our cities, infrastructure, agriculture, and pollution are all forms of stress we place on the natural world. This map, by David M. Theobald et al., shows just how much of the planet we’ve now modified. The researchers estimate that 14.6% or 18.5 million km² of land area has been modified – an area greater than Russia.

Defining Human Impact

Human impact on the Earth’s surface can take a number of different forms, and researchers took a nuanced approach to classifying the “modifications” we’ve made. In the end, 10 main stressors were used to create this map:

  1. Built-Up Areas: All of our cities and towns
  2. Agriculture: Areas devoted to crops and pastures
  3. Energy and extractive resources: Primarily locations where oil and gas are extracted
  4. Mines and quarries: Other ground-based natural resource extraction, excluding oil and gas
  5. Power plants: Areas where energy is produced – both renewable and non-renewable
  6. Transportation and service corridors: Primarily roads and railways
  7. Logging: This measures commodity-based forest loss (excludes factors like wildfire and urbanization)
  8. Human intrusion: Typically areas adjacent to population centers and roads that humans access
  9. Natural systems modification: Primarily modifications to water flow, including reservoir creation
  10. Pollution: Phenomenon such as acid rain and fog caused by air pollution

The classification descriptions above are simplified. See (Read more...)

This Giant Map Shows All the Metropolitan Areas in the U.S.


This post is by Nick Routley from Visual Capitalist


Full size versions: HTML (15 MB) or PDF (7 MB)

This Giant Map Shows All the Metropolitan Areas in the U.S.

The United States is the third most populous country in the world, made up of close to 20,000 cities and towns, and 333 million individuals.

Dividing these population clusters into a coherent framework of statistical areas is no small feat, and the U.S. Census Bureau’s latest map shows just how complex of a task it is.

This enormous map—which covers the entire country, including Puerto Rico—includes 392 metropolitan statistical areas and 547 micropolitan statistical areas.

From Metro to Micro

The wide variety of population patterns around the country can make it tricky to divide regions up into uniform units. There are two main divisions to consider when viewing this map:

  1. Metropolitan Areas (metro areas) have at least one urban core area of at least 50,000 population. These are the largest population centers, sometimes encompassing many counties. In some instances, these metro areas are further subdivided into Metropolitan Divisions.
  2. Micropolitan Areas are the smallest areas measured on this map (indicated by a lighter shade of green). These smaller regions, which are generally located further away from large cities, have at least one urban core area of at least 10,000 but fewer than 50,000 people.

One thing to note about all of these definitions is that the cities in these regions must have significant ties to a neighboring region—usually in the form of commuting ties. This is what warrants binding (Read more...)

Ranked: The Fastest Growing Cities in Europe


This post is by Iman Ghosh from Visual Capitalist


Ranked: The Fastest Growing Cities in Europe

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The Briefing

  • 75% of Europe’s population lives in urban areas, but this could rise to nearly 84% by 2050
  • Six of the top 20 fastest growing cities in Europe are located in Russia

Ranked: The Top 20 Fastest Growing Cities in Europe

If you were to select a random person in Europe, there’s a 75% chance that person lives in an urban area rather than a rural one.

In the coming decades, this region’s urban population figure is expected to rise even higher, from 75% to 84% by 2050.

Based on projected average annual population growth rates between 2020-2025, which are the fastest growing cities in Europe?

Russian Might

Russia’s well-known for its expansive landmass, but the country is more than its vast terrain. In fact, it contains six of the top 20 fastest growing cities in Europe.

CityCountry2020–2025 Growth RateCapital city?
Balashikha?? Russia2.01%No
Tyumen?? Russia1.88%No
Tiranë (Tirana)?? Albania1.63%? Yes
Oslo?? Norway1.38%? Yes
Sochi?? Russia1.33%No
Coventry-Bedworth?? UK1.32%No
Stockholm?? Sweden1.25%? Yes
Lausanne?? (Read more...)

Ranked: The Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S.


This post is by Carmen Ang from Visual Capitalist


The Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S.

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Yes. Visualizations are free to share and post in their original form across the web—even for publishers. Please link back to this page and attribute Visual Capitalist.
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Licenses are required for some commercial uses, translations, or layout modifications. You can even whitelabel our visualizations. Explore your options.
Interested in this piece?
Click here to license this visualization.

The Briefing

  • Five of the 20 fastest growing cities are in California
  • However, California’s population growth as a whole has become stagnant over the last few years
  • Between 2020-2025, the fastest growing U.S. city is expected to be The Woodlands, TX

Ranked: The Fastest Growing Cities in the U.S.

The world has become increasingly more urbanized, especially in America. Despite being one of the largest countries on the planet, over 80% of the U.S. population currently is concentrated in key metropolitan areas, and this urban concentration is only expected to increase in the coming years.

Which U.S. cities are leading this growth?

Here are the fastest growing urban areas in the U.S. with over 300,000 residents, based on their projected annual growth rate from 2020 to 2025.

RankCityStateAvg. Growth Rate ('20-'25p)
1The WoodlandsTexas4.76%
2Temecula-MurrietaCalifornia3.66%
3ConcordNorth Carolina3.51%
4VisaliaCalifornia3.39%
5Myrtle BeachSouth Carolina3.16%
6Fayetteville-SpringdaleArkansas3.04%
7KissimmeeFlorida2.95%
8CharlotteNorth Carolina2.84%
9Victorville-Hesperia-Apple ValleyCalifornia2.82%
(Read more...)

Ranked: The World’s Fastest Growing Cities


This post is by Avery Koop from Visual Capitalist


Fastest growing cities

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Yes. Visualizations are free to share and post in their original form across the web—even for publishers. Please link back to this page and attribute Visual Capitalist.
When do I need a license?
Licenses are required for some commercial uses, translations, or layout modifications. You can even whitelabel our visualizations. Explore your options.
Interested in this piece?
Click here to license this visualization.

Ranked: The World’s Fastest Growing Cities

By 2025, the world’s population will reach over 8.1 billion people.

Most of that population growth will be concentrated in cities across Africa and Asia. To help paint a detailed picture, this map uses data from the United Nations to rank the top 20 fastest growing cities in the world in terms of average annual growth rate from 2020 to 2025.

Full Speed Ahead

The majority of the world’s fastest growing cities are located in Africa—in fact, 17 of the 20 are located on the continent, with four of the 20 cities being located in Nigeria specifically.

Population growth is booming across the entire continent, as many countries retain high birth rates. According to the World Bank, the 2019 fertility rate (births per woman) in Sub-Saharan Africa was 4.6, compared to the global fertility rate of 2.4.

CityCountryContinentAnnual Growth (2020-2025p)
Gwagwalada?? NigeriaAfrica6.46%
Kabinda?? Democratic Republic of CongoAfrica6.37%
Rupganj?? BangladeshAsia6.36%
Lokoja?? NigeriaAfrica5.93%
Uige?? AngolaAfrica5.92%
Bujumbura?? BurundiAfrica (Read more...)

Visualizing the Importance of Fire Safety in High-rise Buildings



The following content is sponsored by the North American Modern Building Alliance.

Fire Safety in High-rise Buildings

More than half of the world’s population now lives in urban areas. As a result, tall buildings, which can host a large number of occupants, have become a common feature in modern cities.

Over the last two decades, the global number of buildings taller than 656 feet (200 meters) has increased by 567%, up from 260 in 2000 to 1,733 in 2020. Considering the towering increase of skyscrapers globally, the safety of the people that occupy them is more crucial than ever.

The above infographic from the North American Modern Building Alliance (NAMBA) highlights the need for fire safety in high-rise buildings and shows how the U.S. is leading the way for facade fire testing and safety regulations.

The Importance of Building Fire Safety

With more tall buildings filling the sky, the number of high-rise fires has also risen.

Fire safety is a critical feature of any building, especially for high-rises in densely populated urban areas, for two key reasons:

  • Higher number of occupants can slow down evacuation times in the event of a fire
  • Fires can spread faster vertically and in smaller spaces

Fires are most dangerous when they cannot be contained, and the structural components of a building play a critical role in limiting the spread of a fire—including its exterior shell, known as the facade.

What is a Facade?

As an integral part of a building’s exterior, the (Read more...)

Innovation Upends Extrapolation: Urbanization



One of my favorite example of a mindless extrapolation was a headline I saw a few years back that said “By 2100 We Will All Live In Cities” (sadly I can’t find it anymore and failed to bookmark it). It may have been slightly exaggerated for dramatic purpose, but it is easy to find extrapolations that say by 2100 more than 80% of the global population will live in cities. Here is an example from the World Economic Forum:

image

You will readily get there if you simply extrapolate charts like this one from Our World in Data.

image

But extrapolation is dangerous (much more so than interpolation). In extrapolation you are assuming that the trends driving the observed changes will continue in their present form. That’s largely safe when you are dealing with simple physical systems like the trajectory of a single tennis ball. But when you are dealing with a system of massive complexity such as human societies, it is generally a terrible idea, especially over more than a few years.

There are many confounding factors, but the one I am most interested in is innovation. Suppose you had gone back to the year 1800 and extrapolated urban population based on the last 300 years, you might have come up with an estimate for the year 1900 of say 10% urban population and been off a fair bit (actual number 16%). Then in 1900 again even if you had allowed for significant further acceleration you would have (Read more...)