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Populations are increasingly moving from rural to urban areas leading to unplanned urban sprawl. For the least developed countries rapid urbanisation brings with it many challenges including rising numbers of slum dwellers, increased congestion and air pollution, a shortage of adequate housing and a lack of infrastructure. Research into technologies for buildings, transport and power systems and strategic urban planning could help to alleviate some of these problems. This could aid developing countries in using local materials to build resilient and sustainable infrastructure but also make cities economical, environmentally sustainable and socially inclusive.