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08 July 2016

All change: nine future trends impacting construction


Trends in demographics, industry, and education will dramatically affect the construction sector over the coming decades. Everything from sourcing graduates to new mega cities will alter how we do business. Here are some of the trends to watch:

1. Education: More than 85% of the world’s new graduates in engineering (and science, technology, and math) over the next two decades will be from Chinese or Indian universities.

2. GDP growth: Half the world’s GDP growth over the next 20 years will come from around 450 cities in emerging markets, mostly places that global executives have never heard of.

3. Urban living: Cities are the future. Around 1 billion people will move to cities over the next three decades.

4. Mega cities: Expect more new investment in infrastructure from 2020 to 2055 than in all human history – schools, hospitals, power stations, national grids, water supplies, sewage treatment, roads, railways, and airports.

5. Infrastructure: Most of this infrastructure will last far longer than people think. The impact of each growing city will be clearly visible for at least 30,000 to 50,000 years into the future.

6. Bust to boom: The 2008 recession will most likely be followed over the next five to ten years (after trillions spent in stimulus) by one of the world’s greatest booms. Expect larger and longer economic cycles until well beyond 2025.

7. Where to locate: By 2030, Asia’s combined economic output will be greater than that of Europe and America combined.

8. People: By 2025, most people in the planet will be living in Asia. Indeed, 85% of the world’s population will be living in emerging markets or today’s developing countries by then, mostly in cities.

9. Lifespan: The average well educated 40-year- old in 2016 will live to 97. Currently there are 320,000 people over the age of 100. That figure will be numbered in the many millions by 2050, with obvious implications for infrastructure requirements.

Source: The Future of Everything by Patrick Dixon 


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