Invest in cities now or face 2.5 billion discontent urbanites by 2050, report warns

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By Chris Arsenault

RIO DE JANEIRO (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - In fast-growing cities across the developing world more than 70 percent of residents lack access to basic services like clean water, affordable transportation or decent housing, a research group said on Friday ahead of a U.N. conference on urbanization.

By 2050, 2.5 billion people, a bigger population than China and India combined, will move into the world's cities, said the World Resources Institute (WRI), a Washington, D.C.-based group.

Governments, especially in Africa and Asia where 90 percent of the urban growth will take place, need to better prepare for the influx, the WRI said.