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cottonopolis---manchester-the-growth-and-growing-pains-of-a-modern-city-victoria-bateman-lecture-transcript-19-april-2016-pdf

cottonopolis---manchester-the-growth-and-growing-pains-of-a-modern-city-victoria-bateman-lecture-transcript-19-april-2016-pdf

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spurred on by the impact of the Great Discoveries, made Europe overtake the Arab World in terms of economic prosperity.” x Initially, however, Britain was behind the rest of Europe in terms of its development of cities. As can be seen in Table 1, in 1500 the urbanisation rate in England and Wales stood at 3.1% compared with 5.6% on average for Europe. However, between 1500 and 1850, England’s position was transformed, from one of the least urban economies to the most urbanised part of Europe, with around four in ten people living in towns or cities, double the European average (Table 1 and Figure 1). Table 1: Europe, Urban share of the population, 1500-1850 (%) 1500 1600 1700 1800 1850 England and 3.1 5.8 13.3 20.3 40.8 Wales Netherlands 15.8 24.3 33.6 28.8 29.5 Belgium 21.1 18.8 24.3 18.9 20.5 France 4.2 5.9 9.2 8.8 14.5 Spain 6.1 11.4 9.0 11.1 17.3 Italy 12.4 15.1 13.2 14.6 20.3 Poland 0 0.4 0.5 2.4 9.3 Austria/Bohemia 1.7 2.1 3.9 5.2 6.7 Germany 3.2 4.1 4.8 5.5 10.8 Europe 5.6 7.6 9.2 10.0 16.7 Source: Broadberry and Gupta (2006), p.9. 6

Figure 1 Source: Broadberry and Gupta (2006), p.9. Ever since Britain’s urban and industrial expansion, urbanisation has been on the rise across the globe. In 1800, only 3% of the world’s population lived in urban areas (Table 2). Today it is one in two and predictions suggest that by 2100, 85% of the global population will live in towns and cities. xi Within 150 years, the urban population will have increased from just under one billion in 1950 to around 9 billion by 2100. Alongside, the number of mega-cities (those with a population of greater than 10 million) is set to increase from just two in 1950 (New York and Tokyo) to 28 today and 41 by 2030, with seven of the top ten set to be in Asia. xii Hence, whilst cities have always existed, it is only relatively recently, and following in the footsteps of Britain, that they have become a regular feature of our daily lives. 7