Johannesburg is set to be classified as a megacity by 2030, with its population exceeding 10 million people.
This is according to a new report published by Allianz, titled The Megacity State, which shows that in 1950 only two such cities existed: New York and Tokyo.
In 2015 however, as many as 29 such cities exist, and by 2030, that number will grow to 41, including Johannesburg.
As early as 2020, the greater Shanghai area could even become a “giga city” with 170 million inhabitants – more than double the population of Germany.
“The growth of megacities right now is primarily an Asian phenomenon. Six of the ten cities with the largest populations are in that part of the world,” said Jay Ralph, member of the Board of Management of Allianz SE and responsible for global asset management among other things.
“Estimates indicate that the Asian middle class will grow to 1.75 billion by 2020. By the end of 2014, 11%of our assets under management for customers originated in this region. The percentage is expected to increase further.”
How will it look?
In the megacity of the future more and more people will live in smaller households because the traditional family unit is becoming increasingly disbanded, the report said.
The demand for living space will therefore rise substantially. This challenge can be countered with innovative technologies, such as 3D-printed houses.
With resilience in mind, academics, politicians and business representatives have developed a vision of a Smart City.
The nervous system of tomorrow’s intelligent city will be based on the Internet: electricity, transportation as well as supply and disposal systems will all be electronically linked.
Buildings will produce their own electricity and even store it, for example using high-powered battery storage systems. This will result in a decentralized energy-generation and storage system, which will have the additional benefit of mitigating the impact of power outages.
“Automatic traffic control systems will respond to real-time data, reducing traffic and redirecting it if necessary. The workplace and the home will merge,” the report said.