New image_2_0 A new report has been published which analyzes the future of cities in the coming years and reviews trend data on urban economies around the world and how population dynamics and economic globalization will change – and are already doing – the hierarchies of cities. The study, Urban world: Mapping the economic power of cities, has been developed by the McKinsey Global Institute and from it the full report (pdf), a executive summary (pdf) and, most notably, a system of graphical display that helps review the data otherwise.

The tables reflect some of the changes that are expected and that we have already sensed for years; not only in the size of the population but, above all, in the economic structure of the new emerging urban centers in countries with economies in transition or underdeveloped, which will take over leadership positions traditionally held by “old” cities in some economic indicators. A pattern of change that we have already talked about several times and that, by dint of repeating the well-known mantra of more than half of the world’s population lives in cities, seems to become innocuous and, however, does not it is. It is not indifferent that the seven large cities with the largest population under 15 years of age in 2025 are in Asia or Africa; it is not indifferent that the highest rates of urban economic growth are all located in China (of the top ten, only New York manages to rank among the new Chinese cities); It is not irrelevant that in the next 15 years more than a hundred cities so far not invited to the globalization will have a decisive role; It is not merely a statistical matter that most of the migratory movements in the world are destined for cities incapable of satisfying the needs of its new citizens. Nor is it that, while it’s easy to always think of megacities as the dominant major cities in the game, it’s the cities of medium size -medium for these purposes, considering up to ten million inhabitants- those that will lead the greatest processes of capital accumulation and of people and that this terrain is closed to medium-sized European or North American cities, which prove incapable of competing with the transformations in other parts of the world.

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