Cities and wealth – The Property Chronicle
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Cities and wealth

The Historian

We are at a key moment in economic history right now. This is the definitive movement of the world and economic life from a world of territorial states and economies to one of cities. Cities have been a feature of human life for almost 6,000 years, but for most of human history they have been a minority experience, with no more than 10% of the population living there. Today, though, they are more important than ever. You cannot understand the nature of the present world economy without understanding the centrality of cities to the world we live in. The future is also going to be city-dominated, and several of the main trends we can see in economics, politics and social life come from that.

Across the globe, cities are where the action is. The last 60 years have seen urbanisation that is unprecedented in its scale and universality and this is continuing. Currently 55% of the world’s population live in cities, according to the UN, and this is predicted to reach 68% by 2050. If the process of urbanisation in Africa continues to accelerate, the figure then will be even higher.

People who live in cities are more productive than those living elsewhere, and they become more productive simply by moving there






The Historian

About Steve Davies

Steve Davies

Dr Steve Davies is Head of Education at the Institute of Economic Affairs. He is the author of Empiricism and History, The Wealth Explosion: The Nature and Origins of Modernity, The Economics and Politics of Brexit: the Realignment of British Public Life and The Streetwise Guide to the Devil and His Works.

Articles by Steve Davies

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