Briefs: Latin America

The Future of Cities: Smarter, Greener

flickr_Trey Ratcliff

Propelled by drivers in all five STEEP categories (social, technological, environmental, economic, and political), many of the world’s cities are striving to become greener and smarter.

A rising number of cities are pursuing environmental sustainability and embracing intelligent systems not only for their own sake (to cut costs, to run more efficiently, and to better serve their residents), but also for the sake of the greater world (to reduce carbon emissions and to inspire other cities to do the same).

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Latin America’s Rising Middle Class


New studies reveal that in the 2000s, the middle classes of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) grew by a striking 50 percent. As of 2009, the LAC middle class had expanded to at least 152 million consumers, comprising almost a third (29%) of the region’s population. Moreover, this trend has proven resilient to the global economic downturn. The result is that for the first time in history, LAC has nearly as many middle-class people as poor ones.

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The Future Impact of the Panama Canal

Panama_dsasso - flickr

When the Panama Canal opened in 1914, it revolutionized shipping, dramatically cutting the amount of time it took to ship goods to North American and South American ports, both east and west. But as trade between the Americas and Asia grew in the 20th century, the engineering marvel known as the Panama Canal became increasingly obsolete.

Massive ships that carried up to three times the freight of ships a generation earlier became more prevalent in the shipping industry. But these supersize ships were too big to navigate the Canal.

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The Future of Chile: Demography, Consumer Life, Business Conditions



A World 2 country in South America, Chile has achieved real development and is on the shortlist to transition to World 1 status. It has a high percentage of middle-income consumers, with sophisticated buying habits. Business conditions are good, and the country is ranked highly in global lists of competitiveness.

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Argentine Consumer Life: Five Trends


Argentina is an upper-middle-income nation with aspirations to join the ranks of high-income economies over the course of the next two decades. It has already recovered significantly from the 2001 government default and the subsequent economic collapse that plunged more than half of its people into poverty in 2002.

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