Profiling the risks and threats facing global cities

Building a resilient future for the world's urban centres


Global cities face a complex array of risks and threats.

Cities all over the world are are looking to strengthen their resilience to multiple risks and threats. This includes factors such as climate change, cyber risks, pandemics, and changing geopolitics.

Lloyd’s of London commissioned us to develop a comprehensive analysis of the impacts of risks facing cities and provide guidance on how urban areas can protect themselves from these threats.

We looked at a timeline of how likely future developments will change metropolitan areas, affecting its people, culture, infrastructure, politics, and industry. It described the journey that regional metropolises will go through as major trends drive change and as technologies develop and mature.

We analysed the factors that will contribute to the impact of four major trends in different cities:

  • Urbanisation and impact of GDP concentration on national wealth.
  • Population increase and the changing social makeup of cities, and how different forms of population growth and demographics will affect cities and impact on domestic and international demand for different goods and services.
  • Changing nature of work, and the systems around work, both due to technological and cultural developments, including adoption of industrial digital technologies, automation and AI, and technological changes in urban mobility.
  • Political and social stability, including disruptions caused by digital technologies and shocks to resource availability and cultural change.

We also developed forecasts of how cities will change from where they are today.  This forecasting analysed the major threat types in each trend and quantify the change in consequences that will result from them.

Our final report profiles how risks will influence the design and function of cities in the coming decade. It also identifies the potential for insurance product development to respond to these changes.


Image credit: Michal GADEK