Around three out of every four of us will live in cities by 2050. As cities swell, pressure on vital resources like water and energy will become ever greater. Across the world there are big differences in the way cities are built and run, their transport systems and energy use. It is vital to understand more about these differences in order to make the right choices for building sustainable cities.
Understanding urban development
Every city is unique, but some share similar traits. Research into 500 cities by Strategy&, supported by Shell, shows that cities can be grouped into six broad categories, which we call city archetypes.
This research helps us to understand what choices may be needed to build sustainable cities in the future, but also how cities have coped with major development challenges in the past.
For example, faced with high levels of poverty and unemployment in the 1960s, Singapore has since evolved into one of the world’s most prosperous cities through smart urban planning and investment in public transport.