For the first time in history, more than half the world's population lives in cities.
This major demographic milestone is due in large part to the rapid urbanization of the developing world, where the proportion of city dwellers has increased from 20 percent to 40 percent in less than 50 years.
Experts predict that this trend will continue, with more than 90 percent of global population growth over the next two decades taking place in cities of the developing world. Most of these new urban residents will live in informal settlements, swelling the ranks of slum-dwellers to 2 billion by 2030.
Helping cities cope with this unprecedented urban growth is critical to USAID's international development work. If cities are well-managed, they can serve as engines for growth, innovation, and peace. Without assistance, rapid and uncontrolled urbanization will strangle economies, degrade the environment, endanger human health, and exacerbate social and political conflict.
USAID helps cities adjust to an increasingly urban world by providing technical assistance and funding in the following areas:
To learn more, please visit www.makingcitieswork.org
On October 31, 2013, USAID issued a policy entitled "Sustainable Service Delivery in an Increasingly Urbanized World." The policy seeks to use urbanization as an asset in helping USAID achieve its key objectives such as climate change, global health, and food security.
Last updated: September 23, 2016