As cities growth, density levels and population size will have a consequent weight on natural resources.
The first map, below, represents the extended metropolitan regions and their density, with darker blue indicating greater concentration of people and ligheter blue more sparsely populated city regions.
|Size of extended metropolitan regions and their density © The Urban Age / LSE Cities|
This map demonstrates that regions such as Asia, North Africa, the Middle East, South and South-east Asia, North America and Australia have the highest density. In addition, in South America, Cities like Rio de Janeiro scoring 13.3, Sao Paulo 26.2, and Buenos Aires with 18.5 have a high density.
The following maps per city shows human urban footprint which reveal the capacity and resilience of urban form as well as physical and geographical constraints.
We will start with the Greater Tokyo and its population of 42,607,376 on area of 7,408 square kilometer, and a density 5,752 pp/sqkm.
|Density map of Tokyo © The Urban Age / LSE Cities|
Population 42,607,376 - Area 7,408 sq km - Density 5,752 pp/km
The Urban Age / LSE Cities said to have mapped these 12 cases at the same scale with core built-up areas in black and peripheral areas in grey. By all accounts, Tokyo has the world's largest urban conurbation; and this rapacious conurbation tends to continue to sprawl in the rest of the Kanto region.
|Density Map of Atlanta, USA © The Urban Age / LSE Cities|
Population 7,506,267 - Area 6,888 sq km - Density 1,090 pp/sq km
As The Urban Age/ LSE Cities pointed out, Atlanta occupies remarkably the same amount of land with an area of 6,888 square kilometers, but for only 7,506,267 dwellers, with a density of 1,090 pp / sq km. The Greater Tokyo, well-known for being one of the most land-hungry cities, is characterized by its lack of space which can be translated into a sensation of narrowness. In this context, living in narrow spaces supposes a low quality of living environment.
|Density Map of Lahore, Pakistan © The Urban Age / LSE Cities|
Population 13,335,777 - Area 486 sq km - Density 27,434 pp/sq km
Obviously, a high density on small space affects not only the built environment but also daily lives, health and well-being of urban dwellers.
|Hong Kong © The Urban Age|
> Living at high-density affects the daily lives of urban dwellers across Hong Kong's diverse communities
It tends to weaken cities, in particular, those facing with risks — natural disasters, global warming, flooding, drought, etc.
|The Density Map of Hong Kong SAR, China, © The Urban - Age / LSE Cities|
Population 7,069,378 - Area 273 sq km - Density 25,933 pp/sq km
It will subsequently create such drastic inequality leading to tension within the city if serious and realistic measures in terms of city designs, housing, infrastructure, transports, and more broadly, politics of quality management are not taken urgently.
|Density Map of Lagos, Nigeria © The Urban Age / LSE Cities|
Population 15,372,213 - Area 1,174 sq km - Density 13,100 pp/sq km
Consequently, adaptation, convinience, resilience and quality management are keys to cities confronting spatial and physical constraints such as lack of space while being land-hungry.
Thus, an overbuilt and overcrowded city like Tokyo has a number of sernior citizens aged 75 or older that increases. Tokyo Metropolitan Government reckons that 30% of them will be living along, it becomes urgent to shift into an urban model for a super-aging society.
|Density Map of London, UK © The Urban Age / LSE Cities|
Population 14,830,051 - Area 2,668 sq km - Density 5,559 pp/ sq km
While it does not mean that being ranked first in terms of health ahead of cities protects the city from issues such as quality of life, or viruses — since viruses tend to easily adapt to any circonstance, any type of built environment —, it nonetheless provides a better resistance and management of constraints. A city like Hong Kong with its population of 7,069,378 on an area of 273 square kilometers — for a density of 25,933 pp/sq km — scores 0.88, meaning the city has the highest health index — followed by three cities with the same score of 0.86 — Osaka, Tokyo and Singapore.
|Density Map of Kinshas, Congo DRC © The Urban Age / LSE Cities|
Population 9,426,523 - Area 368 sq km - Density 25,640 pp / sq km
This is not the case for developing cities coping with population growth, rapid urbanization and economic development. These factors impact the built environment accelerating social inequalities and revealing a scarcity of resources ranging from personal living space to transport and drinking water.
|Density Map of Manila, Philippines © The Urban Age / The LSE Cities|
Population 23,065,889 - Area 1,149 sq km - Density 20,081 pp/sq km
Needless to say that issues such as climate change and other escalating pressures will weigh on these cities making their urban agenda a global issue.
|Density Map of Cairo, Egypt © The Urban Age / LSE Cities|
Population 24,243,250 - Area 1,203 sq km - Density 20,152 pp / sq km
As The Urban Age Hong Kong clearly revealed, as cities grow, a better politics of quality management that puts factors such as health and well-being, but also more comfortable housing, transport, labour markets, at top to maintain or improve quality of life is required to respond to future's issues.
In conclusion, a sustainable-friendly, convenient, liveable city requires a consequent urban model to welcome and provide a high quality of life as this will be one of core elements in the nearing future. Cities that will fail will affect living conditions not only locally but also globally. The road to the best liveable city is long and narrow but implementing adaptive urban planning should help to withstand issues… at the very least.
Source: The Urban Age