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SMALL CITIES UNPREPARED FOR POPULATION FLOOD, WARNS URBAN EXPERT

[1/23/17]  With the global population expected to reach 9.5 billion in 2075, the world’s giant cities are quickly filling up.

But experts believe that the brunt of migration will not be on big cities.

Instead, they say that most urban migration will be to smaller cities, that are not prepare for a population flood.

The warning comes from Eugene Zapata Garesche, Latin America and Caribbean director for the 100 Resilient Cities (100RC) initiative.

He said: ‘The cities that are set to grow are those that are not prepared to grow – the medium and small-sized ones.

‘The cities that got prepared to grow are not growing anymore as they are already big enough. That is where the whole challenge of urbanisation is sitting today.’

As megacities such as Brazil’s Sao Paulo can no longer sustain more population growth, cities like Curitiba or Salvador, which still have room to expand, will be required to absorb rising numbers of people, said Mr Zapata.

‘You have cities like Mexico City that aren’t even growing any more population-wise, because the city has turned into a nightmare for commuting, and there’s a lot of pollution,’ he said.

‘It’s good news for Mexico City, but bad news for the cities around.’

The United Nations estimates the number of people living in medium-sized cities of up to 5 million inhabitants is expected to jump to 1.1 billion by 2030, up from 827 million in 2014.

And it predicts an estimated 27 percent of the world’s population will be living in smaller cities of at least 1 million people by 2030.