Of Megacities and Developing Countries: African Urban Growth and Increased Residency in Slums and Informal Settlements

As part of our series in response to the UN’s 2016 World Cities Report, we’re exploring the opportunities and challenges presented by the rapid growth of developing countries.

One such problem: the strain on large cities in terms of infrastructure.

Unsurprisingly not many cities, developed or developing, can manage accelerated growth with the roads, transport, energy and other hard infrastructure needs that every dweller in a city has. For developing countries the need is even greater. So how do we solve this?

Let’s consider roads: With weak or unwilling governments, there is a high likelihood that not much will happen at the pace required to build roads for the burgeoning population. Innovative solutions will include modular homes that can be built closer to workplaces, removing the need for travel.

A great example of low maintenance, modular housing is the Kasita home, whose efficient, economic size means it can be located in areas too small to accommodate average-sized homes. This model is and affordable for the middle-income earners in these fast growing cities.

Future-forward, adaptive housing solutions such as Kasita can meet the immediate needs of many workers. As technology advances and enables telecommuting, employees can work from anywhere, and the Kasita model and others like it can take off at even higher rates. It’s happening already in countries around the world, and has a ton of potential in developing megacities.

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