The transition to a predominantly urban world

A series of insights and interviews designed to share the experiences of community leaders, professionals, researchers and government from the global South. Themes covered relate to urban change – from challenges such as unequal access to sanitation or problems caused by lack of local data, to solutions like the women-led cooperatives that are generating jobs and income, and providing basic services for the urban poor

90 entries

This series of insights and interviews, curated by IIED research associate David Satterthwaite, started in early 2020 and was intended to be an update to the IIED working paper 'The transition to a predominantly urban world and its underpinnings'. The series set out to explore what social, political and environmental factors cause cities to thrive or decline.

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, the series supported interchanges of experiences between community leaders, professionals, researchers and local/national governments from the global South, and their responses to the pandemic.

Since then, the scope of the series has broadened and provides a channel for a wide range of guest authors, but especially those working at community level, to share their experiences and expertise on different aspects of global and local urban change. We also invite authors of some papers published in Environment and Urbanization to contribute.

Our readership figures show the insights reach a wide and appreciative global audience (over 300,000 page views).

Themes covered by the insights include:  

  • Challenges (including health inequality, sanitation and nutrition) faced by community organisations and the role of these groups in alleviating some of the worst effects of COVID-19 for the urban poor
  • Deficiencies in local data that is needed to manage and govern cities
  • Key gender inequality issues at home and the workplace, and
  • How community-led slum upgrading schemes can also contribute to climate change adaptation. 

We publish a new insight every two weeks.