The Modern City Re-invented


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  • Title: The Modern City Re-invented: A Conceptual Model for Sustainable Urban Form
  • Author(s): Shafik I. Rifaat
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Global Studies
  • Journal Title: The Global Studies Journal
  • Keywords: Population Explosion, Sustainable Urban Form, Public Transportation, High Density Mixed-use Development, Aquaponic, and Hydroponic Food Production Systems
  • Volume: 7
  • Issue: 4
  • Year: 2015
  • ISSN: 1835-4432 (Print)
  • DOI:
  • Citation: Rifaat, Shafik I.. 2015. "The Modern City Re-invented: A Conceptual Model for Sustainable Urban Form." The Global Studies Journal 7 (4): 9-24. doi:10.18848/1835-4432/CGP/v07i04/58086.
  • Extent: 16 pages


With the world population reaching 7.2 billion today and, according to the United Nations Population Division, expected to mushroom to 9.6 billion by 2050, the need has never been more crucial for developing an urban model that accommodates the inherent problems of rapidly increasing population growth. The solutions for creating environments that can successfully deal with this massive urban expansion lie in an urban form defined by public transportation and high-density/mixed use development overseen by a modern management system, combined with a focus on sustainability including close-in agriculture and food production. In addition to natural population growth, the pressure on cities will also come from the migration of rural populations to urban areas, particularly in developing countries. Today, 50 percent of the world's population or 3.6 billion people live in urban areas of which 1.8 billion live in the 527 largest cities from Tokyo, Japan to Salem, India. By 2050, it is projected that 75 percent or 7.2 billion people will be living in urban areas. This means that 3.6 billion people will have to be accommodated in existing and new urban settlements. If we assume that the 527 largest urban cities will act as major population magnets, they will double their size absorbing 1.8 billion people. This will still leave a need for new settlements to accommodate the 1.8 billion remaining people. This paper provides solutions for a sustainable urban form based on an infrastructure framework, which will allow other forms of sustainability to take place. This proposal can have a substantial impact on international applications particularly in China and India.