In 2007 humanity passed a demographic milestone of critical importance. For the first time in history more people now live in cities and towns than in rural areas. This trend towards an urbanized world is set to continue: by 2030 more than 60% of the world`s population will live in urban areas, with most of the world’s population growth over the next 25 years being absorbed by cities and towns in the Global South. What will be the consequences of this shift? Demographic pressure already strains the capacity of local and national governments to manage urban change. Today, nearly one billion people live in slums, and in the absence of significant intervention that number is set to double in the next two decades. Will our future be dominated by mega-cities of poverty and despair, or can urbanization be harnessed to advance human and economic development?
Cities and Development provides a critical analysis of the contribution that cities have made to social, political and economic development and highlights the key challenges facing urban policy makers and planners. It critically examines strategies and interventions that have failed to solve persistent urban poverty and growing inequality. It also investigates the complexities of managing and governing urban environments, and explores both technical and political responses to complex social and ecological problems. Issues of urban crime, violence and the spectre of war in contemporary cities are explored and contrasted with the possibilities that cities create for achieving prosperity and social justice. Moving beyond the ‘Third World Cities’ literature, the book emphasises universal patterns in contemporary urbanism, while stressing the importance of context in the construction of a theory of urban development.
This book provides an overall framework for understanding the cities-development relationship while engaging with urban theory and contemporary urban policy issues. Containing case studies, it is intended for students and researchers of urban studies, development studies, urban planning, sociology and politics, as well as policy makers concerned with poverty reduction and sustainable economic development.