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Edito : Adjusting to a rapidly expanding urban population

The number of city-dwellers is increasing by 60 million per year. 70% of the world’s population will be living in cities by 2050. The planet already has 21 different cities with over 10 million inhabitants. Urbanisation is no longer a phenomenon of the rich countries. The large western cities have been superseded by the megacities of India and Brazil. The demographic appearance of our planet is changing drastically: as far as the environment is concerned, there is still much to be done and the people are doing all they can to combat pollution.

The environmental aspect of the cities has become a major concern and consi­derable effort has been made towards the creation of green spaces. There are numerous ‘green’ initiatives capable of responding to this change. The new technologies developed by our manu­facturers will soon allow us to irrigate living walls and green roofs with very little water (or by using recycled or recovered water). The list is long and our profession has come up with a wealth of imaginative ideas. Combatting pol­lu­tion in the megacities will soon become a priority.

The potential is enormous but it still has to be adapted to these new markets.