Work, education, entertainment, or simply better connectivity all draw people to cities. By the end of this century around 85% of the world population are predicted to live in cities.
There are speculations that the COVID-19 pandemic will slow down this urbanization trend, but I think it’s unlikely to stop it. Cities remain the primary location for job opportunities, education and cultural offers, and the continued rise in housing prices in many European cities over the past year indicates that city life is still high in demand.
Some find this trend worrying, as–globally–urbanization has worsened the climate crisis, and cities are often blamed for boosting energy consumption and carbon emissions. The World Bank estimates that 80% of global GDP is produced in urban areas. This results in higher income, consumption and associated levels of emissions. It is certain that a considerable share of the global carbon budget will be used up for building new infrastructure, particularly in fast-growing cities. Further emissions take place when cities expand and land use changes – turning vegetation into city grounds.