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Investing in urbanization

Big migration flows to cities means big new projects for housing, education and other services.

The population of the world’s cities is expected to double by 2050, when urban centers are expected to house, educate, feed and employ 6.5 billion people.

Already some cities are investing billions in new projects and redevelopment to expand access to housing and public parks, social services and transportation lines. Business Insider rounded up a few of them.

Just outside of downtown Cairo, Egypt, the city is building a 270-square-mile hub that includes 21 new residential districts. The $45 billion New Cairo Capital will have enough housing for 5 million and include 2,000 schools and colleges, 1,250 mosques and churches, a 5,000-seat conference center and one of the world’s biggest parks.

In Istanbul, Turkey, on a 3.6 million-square-foot former military zone, the city is building 50,000 residential units in seven new towers. The project, called New City Istanbul, will feature one of the world’s largest airports, a 6,200 spot underground parking lot and new entertainment and shopping centers.

São Paulo, Brazil plans to build 717,000 new residential units by 2030, and 240,000 will be designated affordable as part of its “people-oriented” master development plan. One four-story community center was completed in 2015 and features access to public transportation, an urban farm and a performance hall.

Investors are jumping in. Chinese developers are financing the New Cairo Capital project. In May private equity giant KKR invested $31 million in Indian developer Signature Global, which plans to build 7,400 affordable homes around Gurgaon, India.

The Indian government is providing an interest-rate subsidy for low-income homebuyers as part of a push to ensure all Indians secure affordable housing by 2022.

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