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Smart sustainable cities

June 6, 2016

The global urban population is expected to grow by 63 percent between 2014 and 2050 – compared to an overall global population growth of 32 percent during the same period. Megacities with over 20-million inhabitants will see the fastest increase in population – and at least 13 new megacities are expected by 2030, in addition to the 28 existing today. The fastest growing urban centres contain around one-million inhabitants, and are located in lower-middle-income countries in Asia and Africa.

The anticipated growth of cities creates unprecedented sustainability challenges. Increasing demands for energy, water, sanitation, education, healthcare, housing, transport, and public services are testing the limits of city infrastructure. Smart Cities have emerged as a response to the challenges and opportunities created by rapid urbanization. Smart Cities deploy intelligent urban systems to serve socio-economic and ecological development, improve quality of life, and address the origins of social instability in cities.

This report, produced by the United Nations University’s Operating Unit on Policy-Driven Electronic Governance, and funded by IDRC, examines how Smart Cities can advance sustainability in different development situations.

Read the full report (PDF, 3.13 MB).