The role of cities and urbanisation in achieving development goals

The world is in the midst of a long and uneven urban transition, with the great majority of urbanisation and urban population growth now occurring in parts of Asia and Africa. Urbanisation has profound effects on local rural and urban economies, life chances and environments, though much depends on how it is handled. The stereotypical view is that cities and urbanisation are economically advantageous but socially and environmentally deleterious. This report follows other recent research in contradicting this oversimplified view. It explores how urbanisation and cities can contribute to the three global goals identified by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) as priorities for the post-2015 period: reducing economic inequalities; creating more secure and inclusive societies; and accelerating the transition to sustainability.