IDS Evidence Report 192

The Role of Cities and Urbanisation in Achieving Development Goals

Published on 31 May 2016

The world is in the midst of a long and uneven urban transition, with the great majority of urbanisation and urban population growth now occurring in parts of Asia and Africa. Urbanisation has profound effects on local rural and urban economies, life chances and environments, though much depends on how it is handled.

The stereotypical view is that cities and urbanisation are economically advantageous but socially and environmentally deleterious. This Evidence Report follows other recent research in contradicting this oversimplified view. It explores how urbanisation and cities can contribute to the three global goals identified by the Institute of Development Studies as priorities for the post-2015 period:

  1. reducing economic inequalities
  2. creating more secure and inclusive societies; and
  3. accelerating the transition to sustainability.

Cite this publication

McGranahan, G. (2016) The Role of Cities and Urbanisation in Achieving Development Goals, IDS Evidence Report 192, Brighton: Institute of Development Studies


Gordon McGranahan

Research Fellow

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published by
Institute of Development Studies


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