(Photo credit: Noah Addis, “Untitled from Future Cities: Lima”; Juror’s Honorable Mention)

This urban development is not the dreaming of any town council. After all, only so many little figurines fit on those tiny model cities. The same can be said for the real world that photographer Noah Addis examines in his series “Future Cities.”

He writes:

For the first time in human history, the urban population of the world outnumbers the rural. More than one million people per week leave their rural homes to seek their future in the world’s cities. Many of these migrants end up living in unplanned and unofficial communities. According to United Nations estimates there are more than a billion squatters living today–one out of every six people on earth. This number is expected to double to two billion by 2030. And by the middle of the century there will be three billion squatters.

This informal urban growth is particularly evident in Lima, Peru. New migrants from the Sierras and the Selva, rural parts of the country in the mountains and jungle, come to the city seeking opportunity every day. They settle in the pueblos jovenes, or young towns that circle the city center and are constantly pushing outwards into the harsh desert landscape that surrounds Lima. The settlements begin with modest homes built by hand with plastic tarps or woven reeds. Many of the pueblos jovenes eventually evolve into legal neighborhoods with electricity, running water and local governments.

Head over to www.noahaddis.com to see more of this project