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The role of real estate development in urbanizing cities

​​​​The world is more than halfway through a 200-year cycle of population growth and urbanization, at the end of which close to 85% of humanity is projected to live in cities.

Leaders, planners, and policymakers in cities and urban regions are increasingly recognizing the accelerated pace of urban change, and in particular the challenge of spiraling demand coupled with supply-side constraints.


"Finance for City Leaders presents an up-to-date, comprehensive, and in-depth analysis of the challenges posed by rapid urbanization and the various financing tools municipalities have at their disposal."


Urbanization and economic growth are major drivers of real estate markets; the rate of building construction is currently faster than at any time in recorded history. There has been an enormous increase in demand for private capital investment for real estate and surrounding infrastructure in emerging cities, due largely to the pace and scale of urban migration, and the rising pool of middle-class and middle-income consumers. In more established cities, where the pace of change is usually slower, shifts in technology, demography, and sustainability imperatives have also become important drivers of real estate change.

Private and institutional investment offers a number of important benefits and advantages to cities pursuing long-term goals.

That’s why we contributed to UN-Habitat with a recently published Finance for City Leaders Handbook. In Chapter 10, JLL’s Doug Carr, along with Greg Clark, CBE, Chair of JLL Cities Research Center and part of the City Leadership Initiative at University College in London and Tim Moonen from the London-based advisory firm The Business of Cities discuss the role of real estate development in urbanizing cities.

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The chapter on real estate development in urbanizing cities explores:

  • Global phenomena impacting urbanization and real estate

  • Managing city growth

  • Using planning and asset management to create value

  • The emerging role of city growth planning—including analytical frameworks for intelligent planning and coordinated land use planning and more

  • How public authorities can attract private capital co-investment

  • Strategic imperatives for three different kinds of world cities—established, emerging and new world—and how real estate can make each competitive in its category. See below for a sneak peek at this.

​Interested in learning more about real estate development’s role in your city planning strategy?

Download the handbook today