chapter  5
53 Pages

Sustainable urban livelihoods

In 1800 only 3 per cent of the total world population lived in towns and cities. In 2010, this figure was 50.6 per cent (UNHSP, 2010). Figure 5.1 confirms the trend worldwide for the increased concentration of people in cities rather than rural areas. Whilst such urbanisation occurred in Europe, North America and Latin America through the mid twentieth century, the trend is now increasingly being seen in developing regions and particularly within Asia and Africa. Whilst Latin America is the most urbanised region in the developing world, Asia has the largest number of people living in cities (over 1.5 billion people) and it is in Africa that some of the

fastest annual rates of urban growth are found (exceeding 4.5 per cent in some countries). Currently, there are more people living in cities of the developing world than in cities in more developed regions and it is predicted that 80 per cent of the world’s urban dwellers will live in cities of the developing world by 2030 (UNHSP, 2010).