How rapid urbanisation is challenging conventional thinking about insurance

  • Market Insight 18 April 2018 18 April 2018
  • Global

The need for greater resilience built-into our cities, our planning and our development & investment plans has never been more urgent.

UN statistics show that 1.5 million people join the world’s urban populations every single week. Already, 1 in every 2 humans on the planet lives in a city, and within the next decade, this will inexorably rise to 60% of the population. Mega-cities create immense challenges for infrastructure – building, housing, sanitation, transport. These challenges are only magnified when we factor in the potential impact of climate change and associated environmental events on these highly dense populations.

This has significant implications for the insurance industry. The risk profile associated with massive global urbanisation threatened by climate-related catastrophe means that conventional solutions are no longer sufficient – and we are seeing more innovative and collaborative strategies emerging.

For example – the “100 Resilient Cities” project pioneered by The Rockefeller Foundation has identified several innovative pathways to enhance urban resilience – embracing technology, integrating sustainable urban planning with climate change resilience, fostering collaboration between project owners, planners, constructors and insurers to assist with resilience, and developing global networks of shared best-practice to support areas of Africa and Asia, where 90% of the growth in urbanisation is occurring.


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