Environment & Urbanization

World leading environmental and urban studies journal

Cities: an interactive data visual

David Satterthwaite
03 Jul 2014

This interactive data visual illustrates the scale and speed of urban transformation that research by the International Institute of Environment and Development (IIED) has sought to document and describe. A guide to its use can be found underneath the visual.

Guide to use

To use the above data visual click on the dateline button at the top to slide the scale to the right and advance through the years, enabling you to see how and where cities have grown since 1800, plus predictions for future growth until 2025.

A written summary of the wider global changes taking place can be found at the top, while users who hover their mouse over individual cities can discover precise data regarding those cities.

Alternatively, click on the 'grid' view towards the top right of the visual to see a chart of the individual cities and where they rank in terms of size. How this has changed over time, and the predictions until 2025, can again be seen by sliding the scale to the right. 

IIED's two most recent publications on this topic are Urbanisation Concepts and Trends by Gordon McGranahan and David Satterthwaite, and Urban Growth in Emerging Economies: Lessons from the BRICS, edited by Gordon McGranahan and George Martine.

This data visual was produced by IIED's Human Settlements Group in conjunction with Kiln.

See IIED's full range of publications related to work on urban issues

Themes: Urban