Global Shifts: Urbanization, Migration, and Demography

Whether through migration or culture, choice or necessity, the adaptation of populations to changing environmental, social, political, and security contexts has always been critical to human existence.

Today’s global reality calls for no less. Political unrest, protracted conflict, climate change, population ageing, and economic hardship are just some of the complex issues contributing to dramatic population shifts.

These issues demand sophisticated and coordinated global attention that acknowledges how “global shifts” can have tremendous consequences for social order, human rights, governance, and cultural practices, among others. At a moment when the world is seeing the greatest level of displacement since World War II, unprecedented rates and patterns of urbanization, and new demographic trends, better understanding these complex and intersecting global phenomena is critical to identifying more salient policy responses.

This research theme identifies and advances evidence-based policies that - to borrow from the late Executive Director of the U.N. Population Fund, Babatunde Osotimehin - promote “people-centered, sensitive, humane, dignified, gender-responsive, and prompt” attention to people experiencing these global shifts.

Read publications on Global Shifts:

Thumbnail
Global Shifts
Penn: Current Research on Sustainable Urban Development

Three research centers at Penn worked together to bring Penn’s urban expertise to this year’s World Urban Forum...

Thumbnail
Global Shifts
Spring 2018 Global Shifts Colloquium Thought Pieces

The Thought Pieces from our Spring 2018 Global Shifts Colloquium highlight the diversity of research and discussion in the field today.

Thumbnail
Global Shifts
Spring 2018 Global Shifts Colloquium Post-Conference Report

This report recaps and distills the discussions, findings, and recommendations of two days of collaboration among policy-makers, practitioners, and academics. The colloquium lifted and advanced policy implications...

Thumbnail
Global Shifts
Spring 2017 Colloquium Report

Much of the current public rhetoric on urbanization, migration, and demographic change is framed categorically and with sharp distinctions about potential outcomes. Whether...

Thumbnail
Global Shifts
Advancing the New Urban Agenda in a Shifting World

This document is the product of a Perry World House multi-stakeholder workshop “Advancing the New Urban Agenda...

Thumbnail
Global Shifts
Research Digest: Global Shifts

Highlighting the research of over 45 faculty members from across the University of Pennsylvania.