The city tomorrow: The trends and risks that will shape leading cities in 2025

City tomorrow: Shape of city economies to come

A number of themes emerge charting the likely economic evolution of our 27 cities toward 2025. Foremost, the cities share as much interdependence as they do individuality—making a strong a case for cooperation.


Discussions with leaders of thought and action


Bill Bratton

Former police chief, New York and Los Angeles

Crime and Punishment, rewired for 2025

Bill Bratton discusses cyber-crime, the impact of social media and the importance of public safety as a critical factor in the health of cities.

Peter Chamley

Head of infrastructure at Arup

Big digs: How to do it, and not

From Crossrail to Second Avenue, Peter Chamley discusses practical and political roadblocks in keeping massive infrastructure projects on track in the US, UK and Singapore.

Wim Elfrink

Executive vice president, Cisco

India and beyond: Testbeds for urbanization

Wim Elfrink discusses the myriad factors that led him to choose India for the construction of Cisco’s “second headquarters.” It all comes down to seizing opportunity despite challenges.

David Miller

Former Mayor, Toronto

Building futures: Educate, innovate, smell the flowers

David Miller discusses key areas for the long-term wellbeing of cities. The journey begins by achieving good quality of life so people want to live, work and invest in building a dynamic future.

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Affluence is likely to remain in developed cities—whose long establishment, high productivity, and richer incomes tower over developing cities. The latter have to catch up in productivity (and underlying areas like open governance, lack of corruption, and stronger physical and social infrastructure), even while growing spectacularly in population and employment.

Comparing the
"What if" Scenarios

Comparing the 'What if' Scenarios

If those improvements occur, employment patterns could change dramatically—cutting labor dependency and jobs in developing cities. But that issue may be upon us already as employment struggles to regain pre-recession levels and as a new phase may be dawning in the information revolution where less work is required and wealth must be shared in a more rational manner among the soon-to-be 9 billion of us.

Meantime, our cities are intertwined. As long as the West possesses the time and money to buy goods and the rest of the world has the labor to create the products, symbiosis will continue, each side needing the other to prosper and making the case at least as strong for intelligent urban collaboration as it is for competition.