Too Many Cities Are Growing Out Rather than Up. 3 Reasons That’s a Problem | World Resources Institute
n our new World Resources Report paper, Upward and Outward Growth: Managing Urban Expansion for More Equitable Cities in the Global South, we analyzed growth patterns for 499 cities using remote sensing. While cities growing vertically through taller buildings are located predominantly in wealthier cities in North America, Europe and East Asia, cities in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia are growing mainly outward. These cities have the fewest financial resources to manage their growth but are expected to hold more than 2 billion additional people by 2050. As we know from the latest UN data, just three countries—India, China and Nigeria—are expected to account for 35 percent of global urban population growth between 2018 and 2050. As these cities grow in population, continuing their unwieldy expansion outward could push them into crises.