The Economist illustrates global migration to coastal urban centers

Bright lights, big cities | The Economist.

This article from the Economist beautifully illustrates the massive global migration into a small number of “megacities”, cities with 10 million people or more.  In 1982, the year I was born, there were 5 of these megacities.

urbanization 1982

But that’s changing:

Nearly 9% of the world’s population will be living in just 41 megacities (those with more than 10m inhabitants) by 2030.

urbanization 2030

What’s more,  by my count, over two dozen of those megacities are on the coast.  That’s over half of the megacities.  Hundreds of millions of people.

What does this massive migration mean for megacity inhabitants and nearby environments?  First of all, many of these coastal areas are low lying or even sinking.  Combined with global sea level rise, that fact means that much of the billions of dollars in new infrastructure needed will almost certainly be built in the most vulnerable of places.   More housing and infrastructure will compete for limited space with existing resources like coastal marshes, swamps and mangrove habitats.  The very resources that provide natural protection.  More development means more run off and pollutants in the estuaries.  The very estuaries that are needed to provide seafood and other crucial ecosystem services.

I really think that coastal resiliency will be the interstate project of my generation, perhaps even the next.  At ORA Estuaries, we combine ecosystem services with coastal engineering to provide resilient solutions for our coastal communities.

If you like what we are doing, please lend us your support by voting for our company in the New Orleans Entrepreneur Week Big Idea.  Visit www.voteforthecoast.com every day between now and March 23rd.

Thank you so much,

Tyler Ortego, Founder

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