By Parag Khanna
Asians have shown they can lead the global economy. Can they also show the world a sustainable urban future for billions of people? OZY's City Futures brings you urban facelifts reshaping life, from crumbling commercial capitals to war-zone warrens.
Asia is ground zero for the most significant challenge of the 21st century: sustainable urbanization. If the billions of people cramming into the cities of the Pacific Rim and South Asia can not only maintain their breakneck growth but do so without cooking the planet, mankind will have dodged a major bullet. The scale of the challenge for Asia is only growing: Just under half of all Asians live in cities, compared to roughly 82 percent of Americans and 74 percent of Europeans. Asians are on the move to catch up — but can they leapfrog at the same time?