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Background: The Importance of Goods Movement in the Urban Environment 7 consumers, most now living in cities. By 1990, three-quarters of Americans lived in an urban location. Today, in the 20 largest U.S. metropolitan areas, on average, 41 percent of the popula- tion live in the city and 59 percent live in the surrounding suburbs. Urban Goods Movement in the Twenty-First Century The world has becoming highly urbanized. Humanity is in the midst of a long-term migra- tion leading to greater concentrations of people in compact, densely populated urban areas. In the United States, the Census Bureau defines an urbanized area as An area consisting of a central place(s) and adjacent territory with a general population density of at least 1,000 people per square mile of land area that together have a minimum residential population of at least 50,000 people. The U.S. Census Bureau uses published criteria to determine the qualification and bound- aries of urban areas. In the rest of the world, the definition of urban varies, but regardless of how urban is defined, the migration to more concentrated areas is a significant trend that poses huge societal chal- lenges, not the least of these being how to efficiently accommodate the need to move both peo- ple and goods in densely populated, compact environments. It is worth noting that the United States, while far from the most urbanized country in the world, is well ahead of the world aver- age, see Exhibit 2-1. Today over 83 percent of the U.S. population live and work in urbanized areas. In the next 40 years, U.S. urban areas are expected to grow by 80 to 100 million people. Cities are quickly becoming the most concentrated, dense consumer markets in history (Laeser, Kolko, and Saiz 2000). Meanwhile, the capacity of urban transportation infrastructure has increased only modestly. Urban design and regulations affecting how freight moves in mod- ern cities have failed to keep pace with the growing demand for goods and services, and the trans- portation systems that support modern logistics and supply chain management. Exhibit 2-1. World and U.S. population--percent urban. Source: Data from United Nations World Population Prospects, 2009 Revision. Data online at http.//www.un.org/esa/population/unpop.htm. Graphics by Wilbur Smith Associates.