Emergence of Europe’s mega cities

Extract from JLL’s Redefining Retail Places

In our blog, ‘Urbanisation: 6.3 billion living in cities by 2050 – implications for Retail’, we discuss the impact of the powerful demographic forces that are at work on a global level, and how urbanisation and population growth are reshaping the Global Retail landscape, and leading to exponential growth in our cities globally.

Emergence of mega cities…

In Europe, we have seen massive urbanisation in parts of eastern Europe; Istanbul has grown from a city of 1 million in 1960 to over 13 million today. This is leading to emerging mega cities that will suck in spending and investment in the years to come. In Western Europe, while growth rates may not be so spectacular within our mature, established cities, urbanisation is still very much in evidence.

European capital cities generally growing faster than countries…

A quick analysis of population growth forecasts of the European capital cities in comparison to the country level forecasts graphically illustrates the urbanisation trend. Of the major European capitals, only Dublin and Paris are forecast to see population growth below the overall country level of growth to 2025. Elsewhere, the differential is often stark, particularly in the Nordic countries, where Helsinki, Copenhagen, and Stockholm  ‘outperform’ the national population growth forecasts by 7.2%, 6.4% and 5.1% respectively in the next decade. In parts of Eastern Europe, where country level population declines are forecast due to slowing birth rates and emigration, the capital cities Prague, Moscow, Warsaw and Sofia are actually forecasting population growth.


Source: Oxford Economics

Urban spaces becoming more efficient and creative…

So, whilst on the whole, Europe will not see the spectacular rates of population growth and urbanisation witnessed in the less developed world we will still see rising demand for city living, which is forcing us to be more efficient and creative in how we use urban spaces. The urbanisation effect is already evident in some of Europe’s major cities, as urban renewal projects lift and regenerate previously disregarded pockets of the landscape. And while existing space in major cities will adapt through reinvention, new urban villages are emerging, providing local residents with their residential, retail, leisure, convenience and entertainment needs. We expect this trend to gather pace in the coming years, in response to a greater demand for space and accessible services and amenities within our cities.

Further information on Urbanisation and Redefining Retail Places

Redefining Retail Places: for further information on trends influencing the retail landscape

Global: Discover how urbanisation and population growth are influencing retail real estate at a Global level

Or visit the JLL Global City Research Centre here

Asia Pacific: Discover how urbanisation and population growth are influencing retail real estate in Asia Pacific

Colin Burnet is a Director in JLL’s European Retail Research team.

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