Globally more people live in cities than in rural areas, and that trend is set to continue. It is thought that 54%¹ of the world’s population lives in urban areas today and expected to grow to 66% by 2050.² According to the 2010 census, in the US more than 80% the country’s population lives in urban settings.³ That will surely increase by our next census in 2020.

In 1990 there were only 10 so-called “megacities” in the world with populations exceeding 10 million people. Today that number is 31, that’s a three-fold increase in just 28 years!(4)

Why has this rapid migration happened? Because major cities offer better employment opportunities, transportation, access to education, social and cultural activities. They become more attractive places to live where it’s easier for businesses to thrive and offer a better standard of living. That, in turn, attracts more people. And as industry, doctors, grocery stores and other amenities leave the countryside, people follow.

So what does this mean for the people who will live in cities? It’s not all rosy. There are more crowds, traffic, noise and energy consumption.

It’s thought that globally this rise in urbanization will lead to higher energy distribution requirements, stricter energy efficiency regulations and the need for more green building codes. Armacell is keeping an eye on these important trends and wants to offer some solutions for a more complex world. 

When it comes to energy efficiency, insulation can help. Mechanical equipment is an important source of energy loss, especially in commercial buildings. Insulating mechanical systems is an effective way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with very little upfront investment. It’s pretty simple, insulated systems just perform better and use less energy, plus insulated hot or cold piping won’t lose or gain heat into the space around it; steam or chilled water’s temperature stays consistent performing exactly as the system was designed. Armacell’s ArmaFlex® family of products provides protection against thermal losses on commercial chilled water or refrigeration lines. Not only does this layer of protection reduce energy use and costs, every insulated line means one less piece of equipment that will be wasting energy resources. Installed properly this investment can last the life of the system.

Another outcome of the rise of cities? Millions of people affected by the noise of the city…and each other. There are growing health concerns about the impact of noise and vibration on occupants. This will inevitably lead to more noise pollution regulations. Armacell offers acoustic solutions to bring more comfort and quality of life to urban inhabitants. From ArmaSound MTD acoustical tape that helps create quieter spaces, to ArmaFlex and CoilFlex duct liner that absorbs noise and vibration that can travel through metal ducting, Armacell is always looking for ways to make occupied spaces more comfortable.

Urbanization is a megatrend that will be affecting the whole world in the next decades. Armacell will be reacting to those trends to bring our customers innovative solutions to new global conditions.