Urban Resilience: Complexity, Collaborative Structures, and Leadership Challenges

The world continues to urbanize.  In the 100 years starting 1913, the proportion of the world’s population that live in cities grew 5-fold from 10% to 50%, and estimates suggest that 75% of the world’s population will live in cities in 2050.

Though history reveals that urbanization has always been an accelerator of growth and development, it also poses profound challenges for corporates, communities, cities, and countries.  A recent McKinsey report succinctly notes: “Cities are essential to global economic growth and productivity. They are where most of the world’s population live, work, and play, and they are important to everyone else, too. They are the world’s economic engine, consuming the majority of global power and resources, while generating 80 percent of GDP and 70 percent of greenhouse-gas emissions. Making cities great is the critical infrastructure challenge of this century.”

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