Pacific Urban Forum : challenges and lessons for land governance
Urbanisation has defined modern times. The global urban population increased five-fold between 1950 and 2011. 2008 was a landmark year ? when more than half of the world?s population lived in urban areas. Global urban populations are expected to reach 60% of total population by 2030 (UN-Habitat, 2015, p. 13). These global trends are reflected in the Pacific. In fact, the Pacific is now the world?s fastest-urbanising region (ibid, p. 14). In nearly every Pacific Island country (PIC) urban growth rates now exceed national growth rates (Keen & Barbara, 2015, p. 1). Within the Pacific urban growth is most pronounced in Melanesia; and it is here that the most dramatic population shifts in the coming years will occur (ibid; CLGF, 2015, p. 7). Given its size, Papua New Guinea (PNG) is unique in the region with an urban population of approximately 800,000 to 1.1 million people. At current rates the urban populations of PNG, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu are expected to double in 25, 17 and 16 years respectively (ibid). Solomon Islands and Vanuatu are among some of the world?s fastest urbanising countries. Demographer Richard Bedford, for example, projected that by 2050 the total urban population of PNG, Solomon Islands, and Vanuatu could be as high as 7.5 million ? equivalent to their combined total population in 2010 (2010, p. 243).
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