The world’s urban population exceeded its rural population for the first time in history in 2009 and now 54 percent of the world’s population, some 3.9 billion people, live in urbanised areas. By 2050 the urban proportion of the population is projected to grow by 2.5 billion, reaching 66 percent of the total, according to United Nations estimates.These now familiar statistics hide some fascinating and vital questions on how – and how closely – people will live in these places in the future.
ULI believes that delivering density will be a crucial part of successful urban futures. However, the term itself has different connotations in different parts of the world and the understanding of the economics, planning implications and customer satisfaction of delivering dense development is at very different stages in different cities.
To raise the awareness and be able to have a thoughtful discussion, ULI has taken on density and its complexities as a major theme of its research programme. Therefore, we are very pleased to publish this first report which examines what we mean by the term density, how it’s been delivered in different places around the world and what we can learn from different models to help equip us for the new generation of global cities.
We have spoken with ULI members, city experts and industry leaders to get their views on whether the case for living more densely has long term benefits to people, the environment and on investments. Their insights feature heavily throughout this report.