Global Shifts: Urbanization, Migration, and Climate Change

Today, tens of millions of people move and are regularly displaced around the world through a combination of forces – environmental, societal, political, and security. Human movement and adaptation in response to ever changing catalysts has always been a salient feature of the global landscape.

Whether due to protracted conflict or political unrest, climate change or demographic shifts, human movement is often essential for communities to survive and thrive. Simultaneously, rapid urbanization has made cities home to 70 percent of the world’s population, resulting in a trend toward cities playing increasingly important roles on the world stage and being in the vanguard for global solutions. 

At a moment when the world is seeing the greatest level of displacement since World War II, and the climate emergency grows more acute by the day, these complex and intersecting global phenomena – urbanization, migration, and climate change – demand sophisticated and coordinated action from researchers and policymakers working in concert.

The Global Shifts research theme examines these phenomena, highlights the specific challenges their intersections produce, and charts a path that allows for the best global policy responses to emerge.