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In 2008, for the first time in history, more than half of all human beings lived in cities. Cities are growing in population as well as in their geographic footprint at an accelerating pace. Although megacities with populations over 10 million, such as Tokyo, Mexico City, and São Paulo, are widely recognized, most urban growth is taking place in so-called medium-size cities of between 1 million and 5 million. This reality changes how policymakers in every sphere can pursue their goals.


About the Author

Blair A. Ruble

Blair A. Ruble

Distinguished Fellow;
Former Wilson Center Vice President for Programs (2014-2017); Director of the Comparative Urban Studies Program/Urban Sustainability Laboratory (1992-2017); Director of the Kennan Institute for Advanced Russian Studies (1989-2012) and Director of the Program on Global Sustainability and Resilience (2012-2014)
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Urban Sustainability Laboratory

Since 1991, the Urban Sustainability Laboratory has advanced solutions to urban challenges—such as poverty, exclusion, insecurity, and environmental degradation—by promoting evidence-based research to support sustainable, equitable and peaceful cities.  Read more