Today more than half of the planet’s population lives in cities. By 2035 that figure will rise to 70%. If there is a mega-trend shaping this century, this is it: We are racing toward the urban planet.
Here are some paradigm-shifting facts to consider:
The McKinsey Global Institute has spelled out this urban future: “Half of global GDP in 2007 came from 380 cities in developed regions, with more than 20 percent of global GDP coming from 190 North American cities alone…. But by 2025, one-third of these developed-market cities will no longer make the top 600; and one out of every 20 cities in emerging markets is likely to see its rank drop out of the top 600. By 2025, 136 new cities are expected to enter the top 600, all of them from the developing world and overwhelmingly—100 new cities—from China.”
We are in the “Age of the City.” That’s the premise behind The Innovation City, an event organized by CityAge and MaRS, taking place on July 18 and 19, 2012. To prosper in this urban future, our cities will be the platform where the world’s business leaders, decision-makers and innovators must come together to shape the century ahead.
There is no shortage of challenges to be faced with this unprecedented move to urbanization, a trend that is redefining both G20 countries and those emerging nations that are seeing unprecedented growth.
But at CityAge, where we bring together the best thinkers in business, academe and society to forge new partnerships, we also see the Age of the City as a tremendous opportunity to build the economy and a sustainable planet through innovation. Cities are where human and financial capital are being deployed to find solutions and create new opportunities. The global pace of city-building is a massive business.
Here are some more numbers to consider:
What this means is that the city—whether it be Toronto, Tianjin or somewhere in between—is where the world’s investment in the future is being placed. We hope you will join us at the MaRS Centre for The Innovation City to take a look at the vital investments and business opportunities that will define our urban future.