Urban Expansion

The Urban Expansion Program, supported jointly with the NYU Stern Urbanization Project, works with rapidly-growing cities to make room for their inevitable expansion. The program has a “stakes-in-the-ground” orientation—a focus on real and tangible results in rapidly growing cities. We work with municipal officials and their colleagues at the regional and national levels to make realistic long-term preparations for urban expansion in multiple countries around the world.

To better understand the growth of cities, we also monitor urban expansion in a sample of 200 global cities—collecting and analyzing data on the quantity and quality of urbanization. By focusing on a representative sample, the Monitoring initiative provides researchers with better information from which to draw inferences about how and why urbanization is happening around the world, and what it means for outcomes such as housing affordability and the spatial organization of cities.

Urban expansion is inevitable. Between 1800 and 2000, urban area per person grew at an average annual rate of 1.5% in a representative sample of 30 global cities. For example, while the population of Paris, France grew 20-fold between 1800 and 2000, the city’s built up area grew 200-fold. The rapidly growing cities of the developing world cities can expect similar trajectories. Those that embrace their expansion as inevitable can act now to make room for it.

Join the Marron Institute's newsletter to learn more about Urban Expansion

Leader: Shlomo (Solly) Angel

Shlomo (Solly) Angel
Shlomo (Solly) Angel
Program Director / Urban Expansion
Professor of City Planning

Shlomo (Solly) Angel is a Professor of City Planning at the Marron Institute. He leads the NYU Urban Expansion based at the Marron Institute and the NYU Stern Urbanization Project. Angel is an expert on urban development policy, having advised the United Nations, the World Bank, and the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). He currently focuses on documenting and planning for urban expansion in the developing world.

In 1973, he started a program in Human Settlements Planning and Development at the Asian Institute of Technology in Bangkok. He taught at the Institute from 1973 to 1983, while researching housing and urban development in the cities of East, South, and Southeast Asia. From the mid-80s to mid-90s, he worked as a housing and urban development consultant to UN-Habitat, the Asian Development Bank, and the Government of Thailand. In 2000, he published Housing Policy Matters, a comparative study of housing conditions and policies around the world. From 2000 onward, he prepared housing sector assessments of 11 Latin America and Caribbean countries for the IDB and the World Bank.

Angel earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture and a doctorate in city and regional planning at the University of California, Berkeley.

The Quality of Urban Layouts
working paper
/ Dec 12,2016

The Quality of Urban Layouts


+ by Patrick Lamson-Hall, Shlomo (Solly) Angel, Alejandro Blei, Manuel Madrid, Nicolás Galarza, Kevin Thom
more on: urbanlanduse

Featured Blog Posts

View all blog posts

Featured Press Posts

View all press posts
/ Oct 18,2016

Environmentally and human friendly city sprawl

more on: land use