South Asia has traditionally been one of the least urbanized regions in the world, but today, movement from rural to urban environments is steadily increasing. It is estimated that the total urban population will increase from 449 million in 2007, to 913 million in 2025, and subsequently to 1.32 billion in 2050. In addition, the GDP of SAR’s urban agglomerations contributes 25 percent to the region’s GDP, and is expected to increase significantly over the coming years.
The growth and high population density in South Asia's cities will continue to make them vulnerable to disasters if development is not properly managed. Only through a clear understanding of risks can communities achieve sustainable development and disaster resilience. The examples below highlight the work of Open Cities in three cities across South Asia to leverage community mapping and open data in the effort to meet these challenges.