Urban Expansion

Our approach is simple, we understand cities are the center of present and future life. This is an incredible challenge that governments, communities, and stakeholders need to address with knowledge and data specific to their urban settlements. The Urban Expansion Program supported jointly with the NYU Stern Urbanization Project, works with cities to assess and better prepare them for their inevitable growth. 

The program has a “stakes-in-the-ground” orientation—a focus on real and tangible results in rapidly growing cities. We work with officials and their colleagues at the local, regional and national levels to make realistic long-term preparations for urban expansion around the world. By understanding how urbanization happened, and projecting realistic scenarios, decision-makers can address the challenge of expansion and prepare for the future. 

Orderly expansion revolves around how and where people live. In many cases, cities cannot plan their growth, which leads to dangerous conditions due to poor or lack services, productivity loss, climate risks, and informality. Our program prepares cities to embrace their growth by making room. In such a way, we accommodate proper growth whether it's through the existing city or in new developments, or even both, these actions to make room become the foundation of a new, better future.

To better understand the growth of cities, our on-going work and research monitors urban expansion, collecting and analyzing data on the quantity and quality of urbanization in more than 200 cities, regions, and countries. The Monitoring Urban Expansion initiative provides better information to draw inferences about how and why urbanization is happening around the world, and what it means for outcomes such as housing affordability, sustainable development, climate change resilience, and metropolitan governance.

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