Some Super-Sized Numbers About Super-Sized Cities

Think 40 Billion Square Feet of Development Might Impact Your Marketing Plans?

By Published on . 1

Foreign Policy might not be on your usual diet of marketing-related news. Fair enough. But the Mega Cities feature currently on newsstands and the web is worth a read if you are at all interested in expanding your global markets. Some key numbers that came out:

  • China needs to build 40 billion square feet of commercial and residential space over the next 20 years if current trends hold. That's an area the size of Switzerland.
  • India needs an area four times as large as New York City in that time.
  • By 2025, 70% of China's population will live in cities with more than 1 million people.
  • By 2025, China is expected to have 15 "supercities" with an average population of 25 million (Europe will have none).

Also in the package, Joel Kotkin suggests that suburbs (where 80% of U.S. population growth has taken place in the last decade) are the future, not cities themselves. This is especially true for the middle class, which he projects will be all but squeezed out of cities by 2020, accounting for just 10% of neighborhoods.

The cities ranking itself you can take or leave. But even the comments on the site are of a different quality than you get on most news sites. Nothing like highly-educated subject-matter-experts trash-talking internet-style:

Index my a**, it sure sells magazines and drives web traffic. That is for sure, how could you have ignored Addis Ababa, as Africa's diplomatic capital with its influence in Africa and the Middle East.

And as long as we're thinking globally you might want to spend some time comparing your markets in Newsweek's best countries ranking, although it might make you want to move someplace with more fjords.

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