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About the Urbanization Project

The NYU Stern Urbanization Project harnesses the growth of cities to speed up global progress. The world’s urban population will more than double between 2010 and 2110. After 2110, urban growth will largely level off. This presents a window of opportunity in which countries can shape urbanization in ways that improve the quality of life for billions of people.

There are two ways to channel this rapid urbanization: existing cities can expand, and new cities can emerge. These two processes, already underway, are at the heart of the Urbanization Project’s two primary initiatives.

The Urban Expansion initiative, led by Shlomo Angel, works with cities to make room for their rapid growth. The initiative is based on evidence that mayors and civic officials can make minimal preparations to shape cities that are vibrant, inclusive, and affordable.

The Charter Cities initiative, led by Paul Romer, focuses on the potential for startup cities to fast track reform. By building new cities in special zones, countries can leverage the 21st century’s unprecedented scale of urban growth, generating new options for reform-minded leaders and new choices for families in search of better places to live and work.

The Labs initiative incubates new ideas at the Urbanization Project. New cities and urban expansion are the ways accommodate billions of new urban residents, but we’re always experimenting with new ideas. Labs explores applied research projects that have the potential trigger new initiatives or generate new insights for urban leaders and residents.

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