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Cities Research Seminar Series: Accommodating the Next Billion

In far too many countries, the urban footprint is expanding faster than population. Urban sprawl, in turn, is not only creating (traffic) congestion but also adversely affecting livability, productivity, inclusion and sustainability. These problems are likely to worsen as an additional 2.5 billion people move to cities by 2050. How can cities better prepare for future urban residents? We will discuss some old and new options for creating neighborhoods that provide decent living conditions for both the rich and poor—and how such approaches can help us build cities that are livable, inclusive, compact and sustainable.


Speakers: Sumila Gulyani

Sumila Gulyani is currently the Global Lead for Urban Development Strategy and Analytics at the World Bank. From 2012-2014, she served as Manager for Urban Development, Water Supply and Sanitation, and Disaster Risk Management in the Europe and Central Asia Region of the World Bank. The unit’s active portfolio included 38 projects totaling US$4 billion. From 2008-2011, she was based in Kenya as Sector Leader for Sustainable Development for 6 African countries. From 2005-2007, Gulyani was at Columbia University in New York where she held the position of Assistant Professor and also served as the founding Director of the Infrastructure and Poverty Action Lab (I-PAL). Prior to that, she has held several other positions at the World Bank. Gulyani received her Ph.D. in Economic Development and Urban Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and also holds a graduate degree in architecture. She is the author of the book Innovating with Infrastructure and of several articles on urban development, water, electricity, transport, and slums.

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