Megacities as the new frontiers – a global consumer lifestyle study

Nick Chiarelli
Consumer Trends, GfK Roper Consulting, United Kingdom

INTRODUCTION

For the first time in human history, living in a city is the norm; more people live in cities than live in the countryside. The megacity is the very embodiment of the teeming metropolis, with all of the opportunities and challenges that such a situation can imply. It is estimated that around 394 million of the world's 6.5 billion (or around 6%) currently live in a megacity. By 2015, this is expected to rise to 604 million (nearer to 9% of the 7 billion expected to live on the planet by then).

How are people coping with these challenges? How are they maximising the opportunities that megacities offer? What is life like in the “melting pot”, both for those moving in, and for those already there?