By Meridien Mach
By 2050, the United Nations Department of Economics and Social Affairs’ report projected the world population to be 9.7 billion. The typical response to overpopulation is the creation of sustainability as a result of consumption outweighing resources. Specifically, an increase in population leads to the growth in certain industries such as those involved in developing Smart Cities and those that utilize the sharing economy concept.
A larger population leads to an increase in urbanization. According to a United Nations report, the world population that lives in urban areas will increase from today’s 54 percent to 66 percent by 2050. An increase in urbanization has lead to the growth of smart cities. With a larger population comes a larger amount of waste. This is where smart cities and their use of the Internet of Things comes into play. The Internet of Things, which is the interconnection between devices and daily activities to produce data, are used in smart cities through sensors that allow data of waste levels to be collected and used to manage future resources and assets more efficiently. As population growth accelerates, so will smart cities. Smart cities will allow future urban areas to effectively house their growing residents and efficiently reduce the waste produced by those residents.
The sharing economy is a concept where individuals tend to borrow goods more than owning those goods. The sharing economy is a response to what results from an increase in population. It is a response to hyper-consumption and the need for sustainability. An example of a company that uses the concept of a sharing economy is Uber. Uber takes advantage of the fact that as a result of denser cities and the lack of transportation vehicles that can fit in a city, not everyone can afford to own or want a vehicle. Instead, they just want to borrow a vehicle and that is where Uber steps in. As population density increases in cities, finding real estate gets more difficult. The real estate sharing economy eases these difficulties. The real estate sharing economy allows people to effectively use real estate by allowing individuals to borrow idle space first instead of constructing new spaces. Airbnb is the most well known form of real estate sharing economy, where people are able to lend their real estate to those who need to borrow real estate temporarily. With a soaring global population, the use of the sharing economy concept will soar too.
The fast-changing increase in the global population is producing many changes that will affect our daily lives. The growing population is creating growth in various industries and creating more opportunities for businesses that help develop smart cities and that utilize the sharing economy concept.