Issue: Urbanization and the Urban/Rural Divide

Dense population of homes

Rapid urbanization has tremendous implications for public health, poverty, environment, economic development, and government.

As urban opportunities for employment have attracted the rural poor, cities in Asia and Africa have grown immensely, with mixed results. By 2030, urban population in Asia and Africa will double from their 2000 level.

Often lacking in planning and infrastructure, these ballooning urban areas could be incredible economic catalysts for the nation, but they can also be hotbeds for disease, congestion, and concentrated poverty, setting the stage for crime and corruption.

Providing services and organization to growing cities while maximizing the economic benefits of migration is a challenge that governments and NGOs have been struggling with for decades. While countries around the world affected by rapid urbanization share many qualities, each instance has its own unique set of challenges.

Our Efforts

Specifics of the Initiative's work are being explored to pinpoint the areas where we would be best able to make an impact. We expect to focus on the following areas:

  • Leadership — Equipping local decision-makers with innovative urbanization ideas and decision-making tools.
  • Financing — Assisting local decision-makers facing constrained resources to prioritize investment strategies.
  • Technological Capacity — Providing a platform for local-to-local technological collaboration between Asian and African leaders.
  • Cultural and Behavioral Changes — Defining strategies for local communities to cope with urbanization