From Village Community to Megacity

According to United Nations estimates, two thirds of humanity will live in cities in 2050. In 1950, it was only one third. During the same period, the number of metropolises could rise from 28 to more than 40 (and by “metropolis”, we mean a settlement area of more than ten million inhabitants). While the number of people who live in urban areas is continuously rising, the rural population is noticeably shrinking.

Show table of contents


From Village Community to Megacity

  • A Renaissance of the Village is Possible!

    On the Potential of Rural Areas in Germany and France

    In both France and Germany, people are attracted to the big cities – but at the same time, the yearning for a rural life is increasing. The potential of rural regions to create identity, preserve traditions, and constitute a sense of home should not be underestimated. The economical and societal developments in the 21ˢᵗ century depend, among other things, on how the multifaceted reserves of energy in rural areas are used.

    by Nino Galetti, Philipp Lerch

  • “Large Cities Are Where the Society of Singularities Concentrates”

    On the Potential of Rural Areas in Germany and France

    An Interview with Prof. Dr. Andreas Reckwitz, Professor of Comparative Cultural Sociology at the European University Viadrina in Frankfurt (Oder)

    by Andreas Reckwitz

  • Fifty States, Two Worlds

    The Political Dimension of the Urban-Rural Divide in the United States

    There is a chasm between urban and rural populations in the US. Donald Trump’s success in the last presidential election showed the enormity of the political implications of the urban-rural divide. It appears that it will be difficult to close this gap even in the medium term. The differences between city and countryside will therefore continue to play a decisive role in future elections.

    by Céline-Agathe Caro

  • Mastering Africa’s Urban Future

    Safety and Security in South African Cities

    Africa’s future is urban and young: by 2050, the urban population in Africa will have tripled, the number of African megacities will have quintupled, and the majority of urban residents will be young people. For some, these are the most important challenges surrounding development in Africa. Challenges such as safety and security will become an important focal point. How can crime prevention and policing keep apace with such challenges? Will Africa’s urbanisation translate into a better and economically prosperous life for all, or is it set to increase violence, inequality and mal-administration?

    by Tilmann Feltes

  • Building a Nation, Building a People

    Public Housing in Singapore as a Holistic, Multi-Dimensional Public Policy Construct

    No single policy issue is as indicative of Singapore’s success and its social, cultural, and political DNA as its public housing. In a few decades, the city-state has transformed from a slum-invested port town into one of the world’s most developed nations. One cannot understand Singapore if one does not understand Singaporean public housing.

    by Frederick Kliem

  • An Urban World

    How City Networks Support the Global Order

    Cities, which already represent more than half of the world’s population, are conquering fora traditionally reserved for nation states, such as the United Nations Climate Change Conference and the G20, sending their mayors to represent them. It is not just the practical, people-oriented approach, but also the hope for alternative models in times of great uncertainty that is putting cities in the spotlight.

    by Kathrin Zeller

Other Topics

  • A Salvageable Relationship?

    Society and Political Parties in Latin America

    For years, Latin Americans’ trust in the established political parties has found itself in a downwards spiral. This brings young movements and political novices to the scene, who have been winning elections all over the continent lately. Nevertheless, doubts are justified as to whether these political outsiders are able to solve the myriad of crises.

    by Ángel Arellano

About this series

This periodical responds to questions concerning international issues, foreign policy and development cooperation. It is aimed at access of information about the international work for public and experts.

Ordering Information

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung publishes four issues of International Reports per year. Single issues: 10 €. Cheaper subscription rates. There is a special discount for students. For more information and orders, please contact:


If you wish to receive an email notification whenever a new issue is available online, please contact:


Dr. Gerhard Wahlers



Benjamin Gaul

Benjamin Gaul

Head of International Reports and Communication +49 30 26996 3584

Samuel Krug

Samuel Krug 2020

Editor in chief International reports +49 30 26996 3818

Louisa Heuss

Louisa Heuss (2020)

Referentin Kommunikation und Vermarktung +49 30 26996 3916 +49 30 26996 53916

Fabian Wagener

Fabian Wagener

Multimediareferent +49 30-26996-3943