The Most Powerful Cities in 2035

The future of humanity will be driven by the rapid growth and power of cities—especially in the developing world.

Today, Tokyo is the No. 1 city in terms of gross domestic product (GDP), with an estimated $1.6 trillion GDP. But by 2035, it will be supplanted by New York City, which will have a GDP of $2.5 trillion—larger than all but a handful of countries. Two more of the world’s richest cities will be American—Los Angeles and Chicago—while four will be in China, the most of any country in the world. London, Paris, and Tokyo are set to round out the last three.

Altogether, these top 10 cities will have an astounding $13.5 trillion in GDP by 2035 (to put it in perspective, today that would be the third biggest economy in the world).

In terms of population, all but one of the world’s biggest cities in 2035 will be in developing countries (Tokyo is the sole exception). Most are not well known: No. 1 will be Jakarta, the bustling capital of Indonesia, while others will include Chongqing (China), Dhaka (Bangladesh), Kinshasa (Congo), and Lagos (Nigeria).

While not shown in these graphs, all the world’s fastest growing cities in terms of population will be Indian.

Economically, India will make up three of the top five of the fastest growing cities, including No. 1. China will claim four slots, while the remaining three will be the capitals of Bangladesh, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

Source: World Economic Forum

How To Build The Ideal City

As human society rapidly urbanizes to an unprecedented degree — for the first time in history, more people live in urban areas than in rural ones, a trend that is advancing quickly — how we design and maintain our cities matters more than ever. Even in the developed world, creating cities that are conducive to human health and well-being can be a challenge.

In a new video from the School of LifeHow to Make an Attractive CityLondon-based Swiss writer  and philosopher Alain de Botton offers an interesting six-point manifesto on the need for making beauty a priority in urban architecture and design. Check out it out below.

While practical concerns like sewage disposal, electrical grids, and the like certainly matter, our social species requires environments that promote psychological stimulation and community cohesion. Check out a quick summary of this manifesto from Slate here. What are your thoughts?