Journal Special Issue
African Development in an Urban World
Beyond the Tipping Point
In 2007 the number of urban inhabitants will surpass rural dwellers as a percentage of the total world population. By 2030 the proportion of people living in cities globally is expected to reach 61%, with almost 80% of urban dwellers living in less developed countries. For the first time in history the world will tip from being predominantly rural to predominantly urban and virtually all projected world population growth will be absorbed by cities in the south over the next fifty years. We need to understand the implications of this 2007 tipping point for cities as well as the countries, regions, and international development systems of which they are a part.