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The Guardian: Rise of the ‘developing world’ megacities

The Guardian has a great interactive presentation on the growth of megacities – a growing challenge for the aid and development community:

By 2025, the developing world, as we understand it now, will be home to 29 megacities. We explore the latest UN estimates and forecasts on the growth of these ‘cities on steroids’, and take a look at the challenges and opportunities megacities present for the tens of millions living in Lagos, Mexico City and Dhaka.

Here’s a related story at The Guardian asking why urban growth in Africa hasn’t boosted economic growth as it did for Asia.

Note: I haven’t been to Lagos, Nigeria, in a while. But last time I was there it was a bit like being inserted into a Road Warrior movie – crazy, crowded and overwhelming. The poverty and hardship of life in a megacity’s urban slum is daunting. Many aid and development projects are focused on addressing rural poverty – the plight of poor farmers, hungry kids in remote villages or getting vaccines out to the “last mile.” Urban poverty is increasing worldwide and, in some ways, presents a greater challenge.


About Author

Tom Paulson

Tom Paulson is founder and lead journalist at Humanosphere. Prior to operating this online news site, he reported on science,  medicine, health policy, aid and development for the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Contact him at tom[at] or follow him on Twitter @tompaulson.