Archived Brown Bag Lunch

Everything You Heard About Urbanization Is Wrong

Discussions of global urbanization are almost exclusively based on data using national definitions. Until now, there was no way to assess whether using a harmonized definition of a cities and rural areas would lead to radically different results.

The EU together with the FAO, OECD and the World Bank has developed a global, people-based definition of cities and settlements. It shows which cities have grown over the past 40 years, and which ones have not. The analysis reveals a radically different situation then has been assumed so far: Africa and Asia are already as urban as North America or Europe. This has big implications for development and public investment strategies. Rather than preparing for a massive wave of urbanization, countries should focus on improving their existing cities to maximize agglomeration benefits and reduce their costs.

This presentation will illustrate the new approach and demonstrate three new tools that can be used in your daily work:

  • National factsheets on urbanization
  • Interactive high resolution maps
  • A brand new city database covering all cities in the world

About the Presenters

Lewis Dijkstra

Lewis Dijkstra is the Head of the Economic Analysis Sector of the Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy in the European Commission. He is the editor the Cohesion Reports, which analyses economic, social and environmental issues in EU regions and cities. His latest work and publications cover topics such as regional quality of government, urban economic development, regional economic and demographic projections and the definition of cities. He works closely with the OECD, the World Bank, the European Environmental Agency, the Joint Research Centre and Eurostat. With these partners, he has launched projects on regional competitiveness, business demography, regional well-being, transport and demography among others. He holds a PhD in Urban and Regional Planning from Rutgers University, New Jersey, a MSc in Urban and Regional Planning from the London School of Economics and Political Science and a BA in Political Science from the University of Ghent, Belgium.

Join the Discussion

Mohammad Nadir

- Feb 16, 2022


- Sep 18, 2021
Very interesting.

Jes�s Manuel

- Aug 16, 2021

jose luis

- Jun 27, 2021


- Jan 24, 2021
Great !


- Jan 22, 2021


- Nov 29, 2020

Md. Babar

- Apr 18, 2020


- Mar 23, 2020

Joy Mildred Adhiambo

- Dec 2, 2019
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