Solly Angel Discusses Complex Challenges

of the Development and Expansion of Cities


Director of Urban Expansion, Solly Angel, recently spoke with Anthony Ling on Caos Planejado, a podcast about urbanism with a focus on Brazilian cities. When asked about containment policies (that restrict urban expansion), Angel said:

You have to show me that you have enough room that you are creating for the demand for me to say it’s okay to have containment, but usually you can’t. So, what it means is that you need expansion. In fact, we just completed a study, which is going to be published soon, called Densify and Expand, where we tried to measure what share of the population that was added to cities between 1990 and 2014 was added to their 1990 footprints and what share was accommodated in expansion areas. In the world at large, a quarter of the population was accommodated within 1990 footprints, and three quarters of the population was accommodated in expansion areas. It’s not possible and even the places that densified the most could not get more than half of the population accommodated in their existing footprints. ...

I’m for making room. And the reason that I’m for making room is that I’m for keeping cities affordable. And if you don’t make enough room, then cities are no longer affordable. When you have a situation like San Francisco or New York that don’t want to make room, then you have good jobs that cannot be filled because the people cannot afford to house themselves with access to these jobs. 

Listen to the Podcast (In English)

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