Six Cities / Empty WorldJune 20, 2012
Earth is turning into a global city. Over half the world’s population lives in urbanised areas and those cities are taking up more and more space. Most of the rest of the world is organised to supply food and resources. Even so, cities are the most efficient way to support our growing populations. Yet citizens are too tall and therefor make too great demands on not just food but all our natural resources. The Incredible Shrinking Man has estimated that if people were only an average 50 centimeters tall we could all, theoretically, live in the 6 largest agglomerations. At the moment the population in these agglomerations stands at 160 million people. At 50 cm we only need about 2% of the space of a contemporary adult. That’s 1/50th of the space we need at present. This means we use our space 50 times more efficient, so theoretically the 6 largest agglomerations could house 50 times more inhabitants. 160.000.000 x 50 would be the equivalent of 8 billion people of 50 centimeters. There is even space for the extra one billion people living on Earth by the year 2027.
The rest of the planet could be left to recover and rewilder.