Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

David Satterthwaite's blog

The world’s fastest growing cities

Which factors determine whether a city makes it onto the list of the world’s fastest growing cities? In the latest in a series focusing on the transition to a predominantly urban world, David Satterthwaite takes a closer look.

When I compiled a list of the world’s 20 fastest growing cities between 2000 to 2020 (see table 1), measured by population growth rates, I thought I had made a mistake. (I often manage to get the exponential growth rate formula wrong).

Alternative data sources for cities and communities

In the latest in our series of blogs and interviews focusing on the transition to a predominantly urban world, David Satterthwaite looks at community-driven data collection and mapping.

As my previous blog discussed, when censuses are done well (carried out regularly, almost everyone covered) and their data is available to local governments and civil society, they are one of the most precise and inclusive data sources.

Invisiblising cities: the obsession with national statistics and international comparisons

In the latest in our series of blogs and interviews about the transition to a predominantly urban world, David Satterthwaite discusses the vast gaps in city data, and explains why planning, governing and servicing cities calls for data that is broken down into city and sub-city level.

How do you plan, manage and govern a city with no data about most enterprises, most workers, most housing and, often, most land transactions and land use changes?

Urban poor community voices take to the stage at the World Urban Forum

Stories from urban poor communities inspired international audiences at the 10th World Urban Forum.

Taking place every two years, the World Urban Forum (WUF) brings together a host of actors – development professionals from NGOs, representatives of international development agencies, city government officials – from around the globe.

Which cities went up or down the ranking of the world’s largest cities?

IIED senior fellow David Satterthwaite is curating a series of blogs and interviews on global urban change. In this blog he looks at rapidly growing cities that moved into the list of the top 100 cities, and those that fell off the bottom of the list.

The first two blogs in this series looked at how the list of the world’s 100 largest cities changed from 1800 to today, and provided a more detailed examination of the 20 largest cities.

Continuity and change in the world’s 20 largest cities

David Satterthwaite looks at changes in the rankings for the world's largest cities, revealing which cities have surged up the top 20, and which have fallen.  

Having already looked at how the list of the world’s 100 largest cities changed from 1800 to today, including projections to 2035, in this second blog of the series, I want to look at the changes in rank of the 20 largest cities over the last 70 years.

The world's 100 largest cities from 1800 to 2020, and beyond

In the first of a new blog series, IIED senior fellow David Satterthwaite looks at the world’s 100 largest cities, and how their changing distribution reflects social, political and economic shifts across the globe. 

Most very large cities have great importance for the global economy, and all have importance for the politics and the economy of their nation and region.

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