Life in the modern-day megacity

A megacity is a metropolitan area with a total population in excess of 10 million. That’s a lot of people! In our recent Megacities report, it was stated that by 2025 it is estimated that around 630 million people will live in close to 40 megacities around the world. Japan’s Tokyo will still be the largest of them all, followed by Delhi and Shanghai, in India and China respectively. The list is dominated by cities in Asia, but several in Latin America and Africa will also grow rapidly.


In addition to these megacities, about 400 million people will live in cities of 5-10 million, and just above 1 billion are expected to live in cities of 1-5 million. However, most of the world’s urban population will still live in cities of less than 1 million people.

Megacities have the potential to reduce poverty and improve living conditions for a large proportion of the population – if they are managed properly and make the most of their advantages. But there is a desperate need for new urban models to tackle the associated social, economic and environmental pressures in a sustainable way.

To maximize the potential of megacities, upcoming challenges such as inequality, transportation, housing, formal jobs, effective infrastructure, public safety, unemployment and environmental impact must be addressed. However, the diversity of megacities means that a challenge in one city can mean something different for another city.

There is no single set of solutions to suit every megacity and all their residents with their subjective views on quality of life. Any solutions must take local conditions into account. This is also one of the most important considerations for us at Ericsson when we create the fundamental building blocks for ICT solutions to meet megacity challenges around the world. They must be designed for diversity, flexibility, locality, transparency and uniqueness.

From a resident’s perspective, what are some ICT solutions you think could improve the way your city is run?

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