Urban 21st century and Megaurban 22nd century

The World became 50% urban in 2007. The global urban population increased from a mere 13% in 1900 to 29% in 1950. In 1960 the world was one-third urban. The world will have gone from 55% urban now to 68% in 2050 and over 70% in 2060.

Megacities have populations over ten million. There are about 20 cities that are megaurban today. The world is only 5% megaurban today.

There are about 400 million people in megacities now out of 7.7 billion (5% megaurban).
There will be almost 900 million in megacities in 2050 out of 10 billion (9% megaurban).
There will be about 1.1 billion in megacities in 2060.
There will be about 2.1 billion in megacities in 2100 out of 12 billion (16% megaurban).

Around 2150-2180, the trend would be for world to become 50% megaurban.

Starting in 2040- Tokyo will start dropping down the list of biggest cities

51 thoughts on “Urban 21st century and Megaurban 22nd century”

  1. I think you are still stuck in very abstract thought. We are talking about megacities of the dirt poor. You know, $2 a day poor. Unless you are inventing a Star Trek replicator and we have a Kumbaya federation of planets, your proposal is not going to help these places. What will help them is cheap solutions to clean water and generate electricity.

    Reply
  2. I think you are still stuck in very abstract thought. We are talking about megacities of the dirt poor. You know $2 a day poor. Unless you are inventing a Star Trek replicator and we have a Kumbaya federation of planets your proposal is not going to help these places. What will help them is cheap solutions to clean water and generate electricity.

    Reply
  3. I don’t expect Nigeria to do space mining anytime soon, but space mining and the others done by other countries would increase global GDP, which should drag along the poorer economies as well, and generally make such megaprojects more affordable everywhere. In principle, nanotech and high automation could drive all costs near zero, globally. Today’s main cost is labor, which these technologies take out of the equation. The other two costs are energy and materials, which are made significantly cheaper by these as well. Nanotech in particular means self-replicating manufacturing tech, so you can let it replicate until there is enough to build what you need quickly and cheaply. It’s the same principle that could make large space colonies financially feasible. If you can build a large colony in space, you can rebuild a city on Earth (or just build a new one, which is roughly the same amount of work). Assistance from other countries is certainly an option, though it may not be needed if the costs drop low enough. And the costs can be spread over a decade or two.

    Reply
  4. I don’t expect Nigeria to do space mining anytime soon but space mining and the others done by other countries would increase global GDP which should drag along the poorer economies as well and generally make such megaprojects more affordable everywhere.In principle nanotech and high automation could drive all costs near zero globally. Today’s main cost is labor which these technologies take out of the equation. The other two costs are energy and materials which are made significantly cheaper by these as well.Nanotech in particular means self-replicating manufacturing tech so you can let it replicate until there is enough to build what you need quickly and cheaply. It’s the same principle that could make large space colonies financially feasible. If you can build a large colony in space you can rebuild a city on Earth (or just build a new one which is roughly the same amount of work).Assistance from other countries is certainly an option though it may not be needed if the costs drop low enough. And the costs can be spread over a decade or two.

    Reply
  5. Sorry, but what math do you use? Nigeria invoking nanotech and space mining? What? Even if you construct a home for 5 for $1,000, the math still doesn’t work. How will these countries who are already dirt poor pay for it? Is “someone else” your answer? Prove your assumptions.

    Reply
  6. Sorry but what math do you use? Nigeria invoking nanotech and space mining? What? Even if you construct a home for 5 for $1000 the math still doesn’t work. How will these countries who are already dirt poor pay for it? Is someone else”” your answer? Prove your assumptions.”””

    Reply
  7. Except your math is in today’s economics, which is not entirely applicable. That’s why I invoked nanotech AND automation AND space mining – they raise the GDP significantly, and reduce construction costs significantly.

    Reply
  8. Except your math is in today’s economics which is not entirely applicable. That’s why I invoked nanotech AND automation AND space mining – they raise the GDP significantly and reduce construction costs significantly.

    Reply
  9. I agree, tech can make a difference. Simple things like water cleaning tech (e.g., carbon diffusion) and DDT (to kill malaria). But “rebuild cities”? Hmm, I think not. Lagos, Kolkata, Kabul etc are very far away from anything like that. It isn’t the tech, it’s the money. You can rebuild anything with money. Lets do some easy math. 200m Nigerians will need housing by 2050. The most affordable housing to build is probably $10k for a family of 5 (in today’s money). That is $400 billion. Just for housing. Now you need sewage, water, electricity, schools, food etc etc etc. That is usually 3x housing. Now we are talking over $1 trillion. Then most need jobs to generate a tax base to pay for all this, but the families are young so the kids don’t work. The Nigerian GDP is $400bn. Math sucks.

    Reply
  10. I agree tech can make a difference. Simple things like water cleaning tech (e.g. carbon diffusion) and DDT (to kill malaria). But rebuild cities””? Hmm”” I think not. Lagos Kolkata Kabul etc are very far away from anything like that. It isn’t the tech it’s the money. You can rebuild anything with money. Lets do some easy math. 200m Nigerians will need housing by 2050. The most affordable housing to build is probably $10k for a family of 5 (in today’s money). That is $400 billion. Just for housing. Now you need sewage water electricity schools food etc etc etc. That is usually 3x housing. Now we are talking over $1 trillion. Then most need jobs to generate a tax base to pay for all this”” but the families are young so the kids don’t work. The Nigerian GDP is $400bn. Math sucks.”””

    Reply
  11. Good chance of nanotech by 2100 (maybe by 2050), as well as space mining and much higher automation. When put together, they could enable a much richer economy and the technical feasibility to rebuild these cities to a much higher standard of living. Think New York or Tokyo, but bigger.

    Reply
  12. Good chance of nanotech by 2100 (maybe by 2050) as well as space mining and much higher automation. When put together they could enable a much richer economy and the technical feasibility to rebuild these cities to a much higher standard of living. Think New York or Tokyo but bigger.

    Reply
  13. Urbanization percent refers to percent of *population* living in cities, not percent of the planet surface. At 10000 person/km^2 (just under NYC density), 100 billion people would take up 10 million km^2, which is less than 7% of Earth’s land area. If we adopt seasteading, which is quite possible by 2200 (maybe even by 2100), then that’s less then 2% of Earth’s total surface area. But by that time, there will likely be heavy development of space, in which case there could be significant emigration to much less dense space colonies.

    Reply
  14. Urbanization percent refers to percent of *population* living in cities not percent of the planet surface. At 10000 person/km^2 (just under NYC density) 100 billion people would take up 10 million km^2 which is less than 7{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of Earth’s land area. If we adopt seasteading which is quite possible by 2200 (maybe even by 2100) then that’s less then 2{22800fc54956079738b58e74e4dcd846757aa319aad70fcf90c97a58f3119a12} of Earth’s total surface area.But by that time there will likely be heavy development of space in which case there could be significant emigration to much less dense space colonies.

    Reply
  15. Yeah, Lagos is a cesspool already today (been there, done that). Nigeria’s population is expected to reach 750m (!) by 2100, and double to 400m in 30 years. Mostly the north-east part. It’s horrendous. Imho, the population per se isn’t the problem. It’s that such an increase requires enormous amounts of energy, food, infrastructure, schools, hospitals etc etc. Something the country can’t afford today much less tomorrow. I predict a meltdown in society. Given Nigeria is still very tribal-centric, squeezing that many peoples together from traditionally antagonistic clans, with little money, is a surefire way of trouble.

    Reply
  16. Yeah Lagos is a cesspool already today (been there done that). Nigeria’s population is expected to reach 750m (!) by 2100 and double to 400m in 30 years. Mostly the north-east part. It’s horrendous. Imho the population per se isn’t the problem. It’s that such an increase requires enormous amounts of energy food infrastructure schools hospitals etc etc. Something the country can’t afford today much less tomorrow. I predict a meltdown in society. Given Nigeria is still very tribal-centric squeezing that many peoples together from traditionally antagonistic clans with little money is a surefire way of trouble.

    Reply
  17. Of the top 20 population cities in 2100, I’ve been to at least half of them (don’t ask me why). They are certifiable s***h***s today. I can only imagine what 90m people in Lagos or 50m in Kabul will look like. At that density rate (albeit – hopefully – income levels will be higher) I think the odds of contagion is very high. Mass migration to better climes may be their response. Europe can finally fulfill the dream of re-population.

    Reply
  18. Of the top 20 population cities in 2100 I’ve been to at least half of them (don’t ask me why). They arecertifiable s***h***s today. I can only imagine what 90m people in Lagos or 50m in Kabul will look like. At that density rate (albeit – hopefully – income levels will be higher) I think the odds of contagion is very high. Mass migration to better climes may be their response. Europe can finally fulfill the dream of re-population.

    Reply
  19. 2025? When it comes to city construction 2025 is already at the advanced pre-construction stage. That’s basically almost set in stone already (literally).

    Reply
  20. 2025? When it comes to city construction 2025 is already at the advanced pre-construction stage. That’s basically almost set in stone already (literally).

    Reply
  21. I think you are still stuck in very abstract thought. We are talking about megacities of the dirt poor. You know, $2 a day poor. Unless you are inventing a Star Trek replicator and we have a Kumbaya federation of planets, your proposal is not going to help these places. What will help them is cheap solutions to clean water and generate electricity.

    Reply
  22. I don’t expect Nigeria to do space mining anytime soon, but space mining and the others done by other countries would increase global GDP, which should drag along the poorer economies as well, and generally make such megaprojects more affordable everywhere.

    In principle, nanotech and high automation could drive all costs near zero, globally. Today’s main cost is labor, which these technologies take out of the equation. The other two costs are energy and materials, which are made significantly cheaper by these as well.

    Nanotech in particular means self-replicating manufacturing tech, so you can let it replicate until there is enough to build what you need quickly and cheaply. It’s the same principle that could make large space colonies financially feasible. If you can build a large colony in space, you can rebuild a city on Earth (or just build a new one, which is roughly the same amount of work).

    Assistance from other countries is certainly an option, though it may not be needed if the costs drop low enough. And the costs can be spread over a decade or two.

    Reply
  23. Sorry, but what math do you use? Nigeria invoking nanotech and space mining? What? Even if you construct a home for 5 for $1,000, the math still doesn’t work. How will these countries who are already dirt poor pay for it? Is “someone else” your answer? Prove your assumptions.

    Reply
  24. Except your math is in today’s economics, which is not entirely applicable. That’s why I invoked nanotech AND automation AND space mining – they raise the GDP significantly, and reduce construction costs significantly.

    Reply
  25. I agree, tech can make a difference. Simple things like water cleaning tech (e.g., carbon diffusion) and DDT (to kill malaria). But “rebuild cities”? Hmm, I think not. Lagos, Kolkata, Kabul etc are very far away from anything like that. It isn’t the tech, it’s the money. You can rebuild anything with money. Lets do some easy math. 200m Nigerians will need housing by 2050. The most affordable housing to build is probably $10k for a family of 5 (in today’s money). That is $400 billion. Just for housing. Now you need sewage, water, electricity, schools, food etc etc etc. That is usually 3x housing. Now we are talking over $1 trillion. Then most need jobs to generate a tax base to pay for all this, but the families are young so the kids don’t work. The Nigerian GDP is $400bn. Math sucks.

    Reply
  26. Good chance of nanotech by 2100 (maybe by 2050), as well as space mining and much higher automation. When put together, they could enable a much richer economy and the technical feasibility to rebuild these cities to a much higher standard of living. Think New York or Tokyo, but bigger.

    Reply
  27. Urbanization percent refers to percent of *population* living in cities, not percent of the planet surface. At 10000 person/km^2 (just under NYC density), 100 billion people would take up 10 million km^2, which is less than 7% of Earth’s land area. If we adopt seasteading, which is quite possible by 2200 (maybe even by 2100), then that’s less then 2% of Earth’s total surface area.

    But by that time, there will likely be heavy development of space, in which case there could be significant emigration to much less dense space colonies.

    Reply
  28. Yeah, Lagos is a cesspool already today (been there, done that). Nigeria’s population is expected to reach 750m (!) by 2100, and double to 400m in 30 years. Mostly the north-east part. It’s horrendous. Imho, the population per se isn’t the problem. It’s that such an increase requires enormous amounts of energy, food, infrastructure, schools, hospitals etc etc. Something the country can’t afford today much less tomorrow. I predict a meltdown in society. Given Nigeria is still very tribal-centric, squeezing that many peoples together from traditionally antagonistic clans, with little money, is a surefire way of trouble.

    Reply
  29. Of the top 20 population cities in 2100, I’ve been to at least half of them (don’t ask me why). They are
    certifiable s***h***s today. I can only imagine what 90m people in Lagos or 50m in Kabul will look like. At that density rate (albeit – hopefully – income levels will be higher) I think the odds of contagion is very high. Mass migration to better climes may be their response. Europe can finally fulfill the dream of re-population.

    Reply
  30. man Lagos sounds like will be a real hellhole by the end of the century if these projections come true… simply unimaginable

    Reply
  31. man Lagos sounds like will be a real hellhole by the end of the century if these projections come true… simply unimaginable

    Reply
  32. Brian, I’m going to assume that your projections are based on the development and widespread use of something like Greg Bear’s “Therapy” as described in the novels “Queen of Angels” and “Moving Mars”.

    Reply
  33. Brian I’m going to assume that your projections are based on the development and widespread use of something like Greg Bear’s Therapy”” as described in the novels “”””Queen of Angels”””” and “”””Moving Mars””””.”””

    Reply
  34. Brian,

    I’m going to assume that your projections are based on the development and widespread use of something like Greg Bear’s “Therapy” as described in the novels “Queen of Angels” and “Moving Mars”.

    Reply

Leave a Comment