Now, in 2050, most people are living in small towns rather than big cities. Although the latter have been growing at more or less the same pace as smaller cities in different parts of the world, big cities do not tend to be getting any bigger proportionately. The biggest cities are getting bigger all the time but in general it is medium-sized cities that are going a little faster. From what we know about city sizes, the future will be much the same as the past except, of course, that everything will be bigger as the world population will become ever more urbanised and eventually we will all live in cities.
The world’s population is likely to stabilise at around 10 billion by the end of this century (compared to 7 bilion now) and 95% of the 10 billion will be living in cities. What we will see is a lot of cities fusing or merging together. The biggest urban agglomeration in 2050 is the Greater Bay Area(Guangzhou-Zuhai-Macao-Hong-Kong-Shenzhen-Dongguan) with a population of 50 million, and we are going to see a lot more massive agglomerations like this. Small cities are becoming more liveable but in any case are functionally dependent on big cities. "Small is beautiful" is a watchword here - Schumacher's argument from the 1970s still holds.
The ecological and economic consequences will still be the same for both large and small cities by the year 2050. Ecology is becoming more and more important and some very big issues related to the climate change and pollution will have to be tackled. Property prices are also dependent on the global economy - all one can say about property is that there is always a boom and bust cycle but we may be entering a different regime of world economy, which is more vulnerable.