From 1 billion in 1950, the urban population could reach 9 billion in 2100. 90% of this increase in the coming decades will take place in Asia and Africa, with megacities such as Lagos or Kinshasa projected to host more than 80 million people!
The massive influx to those sprawling cities will raise new challenges or aggravate existing ones, from the lack of access to infrastructure and sanitation, to rising socio-spatial inequalities or pollution and traffic jam.
Urbanization trends might be profoundly shaped in the long-term by the consequences of the Covid-19 crisis. According to A&A, smart cities, within the context of the Economy of Life, will become the norm much faster than expected by traditional thinking.
Biomimicry, as it allows to swift paradigm from exploiting nature to learning from it, will be a major economic and innovative game changer of the 21st century.
It indeed appears to be one of the most promising scientific, economic and financial fields that could change the ways goods and services are designed, produced, transported, and distributed. This market could represent $1.6 trillion in 2030.
The number of satellites in orbit should quintuple by 2030 as the global space industry expands. From satellite broadband, to weather forecasts, long term climate monitoring, agricultural crop yields, sustainable fishing or navigation, space-based technologies and services will durably transform our economies and societies.
Yet, the growing number of actors involved in space, particularly from the private sector, and the ever-increasing and unmanageable number of debris, are raising challenges for the sustainable use of space. Revising and adapting existing international space treaties will become inescapable.
While 2 billion people currently suffer high water stress situations, the global freshwater demand is expected to grow by 55% towards 2050, putting further strain on water resources, which will affect the most vulnerable and increase the risk of localized conflicts.
There is enough water to meet the world’s growing needs. However, without deeply transforming the way we use, manage, and share it, the world could suffer a 40% shortfall in water by 2030. The time is ripe for a cooperative, sustainable and ambitious governance of water.
By 2100, life expectancy at birth should increase to 82 years globally. By then, more than 4 people out of 5 in the world will live either in Asia or Africa.
Demographic trends are structural to understand the challenges of the century: increasing urbanization, demographic transitions, and all their social, environmental, and economic consequences, will profoundly shape our way of living. Governments and companies must anticipate and design their strategies accordingly.
he global eradication of poverty and the access to equitable and inclusive quality education are intricately linked. Progress has been made but we fall short of attaining universal education.
If current trends continue, in 2050, still 500 million people will have received no education at all.
Investing more in education, especially for girls, is an absolute necessity, for current and future generations.
More than 50% of the population does not have access to essential health services. If current trends continue, up to 5 billion people will still be unable to access healthcare in 2030.
The Covid-19 has shed even more light on significant weaknesses in health systems. We need to learn lessons from this crisis and act jointly, rapidly and massively to strenghten healthcare capacities on the long term. It is high time to stop the cycles of panic and neglect.