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manufacturing plants in the United States

A focus on smaller developing cities (i.e., with fewer than one million inhabitants) is important in current urban sustainability discourses since nearly half of the world’s 3.9 billion urban dwellers reside in relatively urban settlements with fewer than 500,000 inhabitants, while only around one in eight live in the 28 megacities of 10 million inhabitants or more [6]. Overall, the urban population in developing countries is set to double from 2010 to 2050 while remaining stable in developed countries [7]. At the moment, cities with less than 100,000 inhabitants represent a third of world’s urban population, a figure which is predicted to grow to 40% in 2050. The fastest-growing urban agglomerations are medium-sized cities with less than 1 million inhabitants, located in Asia and Africa [7,8]. The term “developing cities” used in this article refers to the cities of all countriesincluded in the World Bank’s 2015 list of developing countries [8]. It should be noted that, since this categorization of countries is based on average Gross National Income (GNI) statistics, the wealth of different cities within the same country (and its distribution across society) can vary substantially. Emerging megacities have received a disproportionate amount of attention, while smaller developing cities are extensively underserved with respect to basic services and lack the necessary institutional capacity Sustainability 2015, 7 7786 to be able to manage their rapidly growing populations [9]. The authors argue that medium-sized cities in the developing world can offer greater potential for more sustainable transformations than megacities. They generally have a smaller ecological footprint, and in principle, their size allows for flexibility in terms of urban expansion, adoption of “green” travel modes, and environmental protection. At the same time, smaller developing cities might have fewer resources to implement necessary transport measures and might be more vulnerable to fluctuations in the world economy and climate. Also, due to their size and density, they are often characterized by less efficient public transport systems, lower modal shares of public transport, and higher transport-related energy consumption per capita than larger developing cities [