New Cities, New Lives: Havas Study Explores the Bustling Future of Urbanization

Havas Group’s new Prosumer Report, “New Cities, New Lives,” examines a predicted shift into more urban life over the next 20 years. By 2050, an estimated two-thirds of the world’s population will reside in cities; compare that number to 55% in 2018. Some 9,400 people across 27 countries participated in the study that highlights the global dichotomy of both the benefits and struggles of living in a city. The report also illustrates the role that brands have in promoting urban life.

The urban appeal is real. Cities offer opportunities for advancement, access, and acceptance. Close to half of respondents said that they would prefer city living for a chance to get ahead.

Loneliness remains an issue. Populations are denser, and the report shows that a majority of people feel disconnected when living in a city. Fifty-eight percent of city dwellers said that living in a city is too impersonal and provides no real sense of community. This feeling will, likely, continue as city populations grow.

People want flexibility in accommodations and work. About 6 in 10 Prosumers would be willing to take less in salary if it meant they could work from home. More than 3 in 4 Prosumers believe that by 2050, most employers will allow employees to work remotely.

Communal is in. Surveyed millennials, Gen Xers, and boomers all indicated that their ideal communities would be populated by people from a diverse array of backgrounds. However, even the most diverse cities are often segregated by cultural background, race, income, and other demographic characteristics. The report shares some steps that brands are taking to address these issues.

There is a fine line between smart and dystopian. Those surveyed said that they are excited to see smart cities becoming “smarter,” but they also remain wary. Eight in 10 Prosumers in cities are excited about Google’s plans to build smart cities. That said, survey participants also wonder what impact these smart-city conveniences will have on individual privacy.

Brands need to shift from zeroes to heroes. Companies must find the right balance in leading change and taking ownership in the growth and evolution of cities. Homogenization in culture has become all too prevalent within cities—to a point where visual pollution is palpable and a numbing “sameness” detracts from what made urban living once so desirable. At the same time, brands also have a unique opportunity to lead changes by making cities more livable, more sustainable, and more satisfying.

Marianne Hurstel, Global Chief Strategy Officer at Havas Creative, adds “Prosumers are ahead in their desire for change and are open to new ways of working and living. They’ve become the driving force to welcome and support the transformation of cities. This is a great opportunity for brands looking for new ways to engage with them.”


About Havas Group
Havas is one of the world’s largest global communications groups. Founded in 1835 in Paris, the Group employs 20,000 people in over 100 countries. Havas Group is committed to being the world’s best company at creating meaningful connections between people and brands through creativity, media, and innovation. Based on a client-centric model across media and creative, the Havas Group is the most integrated company in its sector. We operate with three business units (creative, media, and healthcare & wellness) within our Havas Villages all over the world, where teams share the same premises, ensuring agility and a seamless experience for clients. #ToBetterTogether

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Lorella Gessa
Chief Communications Officer, Havas Group
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