Urbanisation is one of the key social and economic trends of the 21st century. By 2050 more than 66 per cent of the world's population is expected to live in cities, an increase from 54 per cent currently. So how do we prepare for this future and create cities that are multi-faceted, sustainable and desirable places for people to live?
For cities to prosper, governments, developers, planners and the private sector must return their focus to the central feature of any thriving city: its people.
A return to human-centred city creation is vital in an era when globally mobile, technologically equipped and skilled populations are more readily able to relocate and choose where they invest their time.
Creating environments that have humanity and inspire a sense of connection between people should be at the heart of all future city building, says Macquarie Capital Executive Director Will Walker.
“Modern cities need to allow a populace to come together in ways that offer equal opportunity and engaging and fulfilling experiences," Walker says.
“It's about bringing back togetherness, community and a shared experience."
Cities that offer convenience, affordability and flexibility, while enhancing the wellbeing and enjoyment of residents, will be best placed to succeed as global populations exercise unprecedented choice about where they live.
Rising incomes and education levels, international travel, and a technologically connected world have made people more mobile, which means cities must be more competitive to attract highly skilled people.