The Urbanisation of Displaced People

Crisp, J. and Refstie, H.
Publication language
Date published
01 May 2011
Research, reports and studies
Forced displacement and migration, Urban
Cities Alliance

The year 2008 marked a historical turning
point as, for the first time, more than half
the world’s total population now lives in
urbanised landscapes. This urbanisation
process will be at its most intense over the next
three decades, with over 90 per cent of global urban
growth happening in the developing world. Rapid
urbanisation interacts with, and is reinforced by,
stressors such as climate change, environmental
degradation, food shortages, volatile commodity
prices, financial and economic instability, under/unemployment,
crime and weak governance.
Rapid urbanisation is also influenced by conflict
and war, as people flee the violence in their home
areas and seek refuge in cities. As the world becomes
increasingly urban, so too are these displaced
populations. While it is impossible to gather
uncontested data, there may be over ten million
refugees – and at least twice as many internally
displaced persons (IDPs) – in urban areas.