The Challenge

The Challenge of Developing Country Cities

Pressures on developing country cities are well-documented: exploding population, worsening traffic and pollution, scarce affordable housing, poor water quality, electricity shortages and deteriorating overall quality of life.

Why is developing and investing in smart cities important?

  • Many developing country cities are growing as fast as 2%-4% per year.
  • Six developing country cities are now in the top ten largest cities in the world; so are fifteen out of the top twenty.
  • Despite $700 billion in emerging markets property investment through 2006, 36% of city dwellers live in slums, and 30% lack sanitation.
  • Seven million people live in slums in Mumbai, 55%-60% of the population. One-third of Sao Paulo’s population inhabits slum-like conditions.
  • Buildings account for 30%-50% of raw materials, CO2 emissions, solid waste, energy and water use.
  • New Delhi’s roads now receive an influx of 1,100 new vehicles per day.
  • Every minute, 30 rural inhabitants will migrate to cities in India for the next 20 years.
  • Brazil’s housing deficit nears 7 million, while Mexico and the Philippines each lack about 3.7 million homes.
  • Of India’s 24 billion unit housing deficit, less than 1% of the 617,000 units built in 2009 were “low cost” homes.
  • Mumbai has just 0.25 acres of public space per 1,000 population compared with 6 acres in New York.

The social, economic and environmental pressures to build healthier, more diverse, more productive and more competitive cities for all are clearly mounting.

Cities, developers and investors will have to lead rather than follow. Collaborate rather than divide.

City dwellers need more than homes. They need schools and hospitals, communities with jobs, security, open space and health. Infrastructure has to minimize resource wastage and additional burden on the grid and the water table.

The time is now to ensure that smart growth, social inclusion and environmental sustainability are mainstreamed into urban business and investment models.

How To Find Us

Smart Cities Advisors, LLC
PO Box 3360
New York, NY 10008
Phone: 1-347-979-7854