Top 10 Largest Cities by 2100 | The B1M


Cities are home to the vast majority of the
human population. From housing and resources, to infrastructure,
education, trade and economic stability – these vast urban areas must sustain our lives. As the human population expands and as the
impact that we have on our planet becomes more apparent, it is more important than ever
to get our cities right. Technology, data management and the emergence of new economic and political models are all playing a part in helping address these challenges. The 20th century saw a shift in the distribution
of the world’s largest cities from North America and Europe towards Asia and Africa – and
our video on the 10 largest cities by 2030, based on research by the United Nations, predicted
a continuation of this trend, as rural populations are drawn to new economic hubs in emerging
economies. But what does the following 70 years hold?
Where will the largest cities be by 2100 and what social, economic and infrastructure challenges
will they face between now and then? Here, we look towards the next turn of the
century with powerful research from the Global Cities Institute. Before we begin, it is important to explain
that Tokyo – the world’s current largest city – is not in the Top 10. For all of its technological advancements
and strong economy, Japan suffers from a low birth rate, ageing population and a policy
that limits immigration. These factors will see Tokyo – set to hold
the number one spot in 2030 with 37.2 million people – drop to 28th place by 2100, with
25.6 million inhabitants. Coming in as the 90th largest city in 2010
with 3.7 million people, the Afghan capital is set to see a meteoric rise over the course
of the 21st century. Since the early 2000s the city has been experiencing
rapid urbanisation as Afghan nationals that had fled the region return from abroad and
establish a growing middle class. Though the overall outlook has improved in
recent years, Kabul is still the subject of sporadic bombings and terror attacks against
civilians and officials alike, and with its population expected to hit 50.3 million by
2100, security is going to be a major challenge for the city moving forward. As the first of three Indian entries in the
top 10, Kolkata is set to become the world’s 9th largest city by 2100 with 52.4 million
residents. India’s rapid industrialisation since the
1950’s has seen cities on the sub-continent swell in size with rural populations drawn
to new jobs and opportunities in urban areas. Already a major economic centre, Kolkata is
set to become the terminus of two major industrial corridors under development over the coming
decades. These corridors will link a number of cities
across India, providing much needed jobs and housing for India’s booming urban populations. With a growing number of climate refugees,
Dhaka’s population is set to hit 54.3 million people by the turn of the century. Already suffering from severe congestion – and
currently holding the title of the world’s most densely populated city – Dhaka will
require significant investment into its road and transport networks if it is to cope with
its projected growth, a task further complicated by its positioning a mere 12 metres above
sea level. While relatively unknown today, the capital
of the West African country of Niger, Niamey, looks set to see the highest level of growth
of any city in the top 10. With a high birth rate and an exodus of rural
populations into the city due to regular droughts, Niamey’s population is expected to explode
from a mere 2.1 million people in 2010 to over 56 million by 2100. With the Sahara expanding as a result of climate
change, Lake Chad a shadow of its former self and the Niger River as the city’s only reliable
source of water – providing a sufficient, clean and fresh supply for its population
will be a critical challenge in the coming decades. Another lesser known city to appear on the
list by 2100 is Khartoum in Sudan. While home to a modest 5.1 million people
in 2010, the city will become home to 56.6 million residents by the end of this century. With Khartoum’s position at the junction of
the Blue and White Nile Rivers providing much needed water security in a country where 50%
of the land is desert, the city is well positioned to absorb much of the growth in the region
as rural populations head to urban areas, a trend set to occur across the African continent. Having held second place in 2030, Delhi will
remain a major draw for rural populations throughout the next 80 years. A number of projects are currently underway
to modernise the city and the expansive USD $100BN Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC)
is set to transform the entire region by 2100. However, growth in some other parts of the
world will far outstrip that of the Indian capital, leading to it fall to 5th place in
2100 with 57.3 million people. Predicted to become the world’s largest
city by 2050, it is thought that Mumbai will then slip back to 4th place by 2100. Retaining its status as one of the most important
ports in the country and the financial heart of India, Mumbai will still draw millions
of new residents. As the industrial corridors connecting it
to Delhi and Bangalore look set to place it at the centre of an industrial and manufacturing
mega-region, the city’s influence will only increase. Following a construction boom in the early
2000s, Dar Es Salaam has grown significantly in both population and regional influence. Already one of East Africa’s busiest ports,
the city will continue to grow and act as a gateway to the global markets for neighbouring
landlocked countries like Rwanda, Malawi and Zambia. Overtaking Paris as the largest French-speaking
city in the world by 2020, Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of the Congo will have
a larger population than the entire nation of France by 2100. With around 60% of its citizens expected to
be under the age of 18 by 2025, Kinshasa will face significant challenges regarding education
and employment as its population continues to soar. Set to become home to more than 88 million
people – equivalent to the entire populations of present day Denmark and Germany combined – Lagos in Nigeria will be the largest city in the world by 2100. Already one of the fastest growing urban areas
on Earth and as a centre of trade and finance in West Africa, Lagos is preparing to undergo
a vast transformation over the next 80 years. The city has embarked on a number of projects
to drastically increase living standards and improve its infrastructure. The first line of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit
system is set to become operational by 2022, while “Eko Atlantic” a 10km2 area of reclaimed
land, will create new modern residential and commercial districts protecting the city from
the effects of climate change and re-establishing more than 100 years of eroded coastline. Perhaps the most surprising part of the Global
Cities Institute’s projections is the complete absence of European, North American and Chinese
cities in the top 10. China’s largest city Shanghai, which is
predicted to be the world’s third largest city by 2030 will only manage to take 37th
place by the end of this century, while Beijing follows a similar trend falling to 52nd place
by 2100. While some see the projected growth of cities
across the developing world as unsustainable, history has demonstrated that a natural levelling
in growth follows emerging economies as they become more established. Just as we saw cities across Europe and North
America dominate the top 10 in the late 19th and 20th centuries, their success led to a
natural decrease in the size of families and a slowdown in overall population growth. Rapid industrialisation can draw large numbers
of rural families to cities, leading to a sharp rise in population. Many new arrivals can be forced into poor
living conditions, such as those seen in London and New York at the start of the industrial
revolution. But as time goes on, living standards improve
and infrastructure catches up. People no longer need large families to support one another or to run the labour-intensive rural industries they did before. Combined with a higher cost of living, birth
rates naturally slow as people actively choose to have fewer children. So while India and Africa look set to witness
extreme growth, they are likely to go through a similar process over the 22nd century naturally
levelling their populations over time. If you enjoyed this video and would like to
get more from the definitive video channel for construction, subscribe to The B1M.

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