This is the IFF World Model. Roll over each of the factors, or use the navigation panel on the right hand side of the page, to investigate trends and discontinuities in each area. For more information on the model overall and how to use it visit the world model pages.
DescriptionIn 1950 there were 86 cities in the world with a population over one million; today there are more than 400, and by 2015 there will be at least 550. Cities have absorbed nearly two-thirds of the global population explosion since 1950 and are currently growing by a million babies and migrants each week. The present urban population (3.5 billion) is larger than the total population of the world in 1960. The global countryside, meanwhile, has reached its maximum population (3.2 billion) and will begin to shrink after 2020. As a result cities will account for all future world population growth from that point on - expected to peak at about 9 or 10 billion in 2050.
Habitat includes the key material factors that affect where we live, including hard infrastructure like roads and rail and soft infrastructure like ICT. It also encompasses the complex systems that enable the distribution of people, food and goods generally as well as the removal of waste. Cities since the industrial revolution have been based on linear process. As the will towards sustainability and resilience develop cities are gradually being redesigned to be based on circular systems of re-use and recycling.