From São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro, 240 times a day

While air travel has increased dramatically, airports have become essential to the global positioning of cities. Europe, which once had the busiest ports and biggest cities in the world, no more holds the first place. Surprisingly, perhaps, the most intense route is from São Paulo to Rio de Janeiro, with 240 daily flights, followed by Washington – New York with 196 flights. London – Amsterdam route still holds a third place.

Despite the increase of air traffic, many port cities still play an important role in the global economy. The top three cities are all located in Asia: Singapore, Shanghai and Hong Kong. Rotterdam is still hanging there, among the top 10.

53% of the world`s population lives in cities. There are significant regional differences in the pace and scale of urbanization. While many European cities (London, Paris) reached their peak by 1950, Japanese and Latin American cities (Tokyo, Mexico City) grew most in the following four decades. Over the next 20 years, the biggest and fastest growing city regions will be in Africa and Asia (Kinhasa, Dhaka, Delhi). The most rapidly growing cities are located in areas where population densities are already high. The provision on urban infrastructure in these cities will have a significant impact on environmental sustainability and quality of life of urban residents.

The impact we, Finns, Europeans, can have on the urban global development is to create service concepts, which can be adapted and utilized in the rapidly developing cities. We have efficient school and health care system, which are already internationally noted. What we can do is to use the existing knowledge and experience and design service concepts for improving quality of life. However, sharing knowledge should never function one way – there is a lot we can learn from working with the urban professionals used to rapid change and improvisation. Little more flexibility never did anyone any harm, did it?

Source of data: The Urban Age Project by London School of Economics and Deutsche Bank´s Alfred Herrhausen Society