Large, densely populated, and bustling with activity, cities are the cultural and economic centers of the U.S., providing employment, leisure, and educational opportunities. The flow of energy and resources moving in and out of cities to support their population and infrastructure is vast. However, there is increasing attention on the environmental impacts of cities, and the significant opportunity for reducing the impact of the built environment and improving the livelihoods of urban residents.
Approximately 81.4% of the U.S. population lives in urban areas - an increase of 26.8% from 1950. By 2050, 90.4% of the U.S. population and 70% of the world population is projected to live in urban areas.
Over 260 urban areas in the U.S. have populations of over 100,000. New York City, with 8.3 million inhabitants, is the largest.