Livable Cities? Urban Struggles for Livelihood and Sustainability

Livable Cities? Urban Struggles for Livelihood and Sustainability

Livable Cities? Urban Struggles for Livelihood and Sustainability

Livable Cities? Urban Struggles for Livelihood and Sustainability


"An exciting book that captures the urban environmental condition through the struggles and knowledge of real people, "Livable Cities? reveals how grassroots input can make top-down policy more effective. By focusing on small, seldom-studied communities in such countries as Vietnam, the book illuminates the particular intersection between larger environmental dynamics and their concrete materializations in specific settings."--Saskia Sassen, author of "The Global City 2001

"This is an essential book about a fundamental topic: the urban politics of environmental sustainability. Leading social researchers from around the world provide a rigorous assessment on the conditions under which local societies can contribute to the development of a sustainable global order."--Manuel Castells, co-author of "The Local and the Global: Management of Cities in the Information Age

""Livable Cities? introduces a fresh and crucial agenda for scholars and activists: how can communities across the world organize to foster both environmental reform and economic well-being-in a word, "livability"? Urban scholars, development scholars, and those in the growing environmental field will take a keen interest in this book."--Harvey Molotch, co-author of "Building Rules: How Local Controls Shape Building Environments and Economies

"Peter Evans opens up a new area of thinking on how global environmental problems arise in the context of cities in the Third World and how they are translated into continuing policy debates and political struggles."--John R. Logan, author of "The New Chinese City: Globalization and Market Reform

"Within a comprehensive theoretical framework, "Livable Cities? studies howparticular "ecologies" of political actors have formed in diverse cities in East Asia, Europe, and Latin America to improve the quality of life in poor communities. With its focus on cities and their disempowered majorities, this boo


Our blue planet is fast becoming a predominantly urban world. Probably around the time you are reading this book, we will be crossing the threshold of 50 percent of the world's population living in urban areas, up from 37 percent in 1970. Projections call for about two-thirds of the world's population to be living in cities by around 2025, including in areas, such as sub-Saharan Africa, that are still largely rural today—but whose urban population is growing by more than 5 percent per year.

Naturally, most urban growth is taking place in the so-called developing countries, where 85 percent of the people live. And the predominant form of urbanization is in fact the concentration of people in largescale metropolitan areas that link with their surrounding hinterland over vast expanses of territory. Not only the southern China megalopolis between Hong Kong, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and the Pearl River Delta; Jabotabek, around Jakarta; greater Mexico City; greater São Paulo; greater Calcutta; and Johannesburg-Soweto, but also New York–New Jersey, the Southern California metropolis, greater London, and so many other sprawling “edge cities” dotting the planet are concentrating wealth, information, and power—as well as poverty and environmental deterioration. The planet is at the same time becoming increasingly populated and increasingly concentrated in large-scale urban areas, which act as magnets for population and resources.

The forces behind this process of accelerated urbanization seem to be irreversible. The myth of futurologists of the information age, according . . .

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