For the first time in the history of humankind, more than half of the world’s population will live in cities in the year 2007. Worldwide, the proportion of the population as a whole living in cities rose from 29.8% (1950) to 37.9% (1975) to 47.2% (2000), and it will probably increase to 57.2% in 2010 or 60.2% in 2030. In the industrialised countries 73% of the population was living in cities by 1990 (ca. 877 M), while in developing countries the corresponding figure was only 37%, although in absolute figures it was 1,357 M. It is assumed that the rate of urbanisation in industrialised countries will only increase slightly to 78%, i.e. 1,087 M people, while in developing countries the increase will be enormous, although it may vary from state to state. With an estimated 57% of the total population, probably more than 3,845 M people will live in cities here in 2025.
Against this background the presentation aims at a) giving an overview over the main processes of urbanisation worldwide, b) elaborating on key issues of urbanisation processes within the cities of developing countries and c) connecting these processes with major dimensions of globalisation and global change.