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

Synopsis

The sprawling cities of the developing world are vibrant hubs of economic growth, but they are also increasingly ecologically unsustainable and, for ordinary citizens, increasingly unlivable. Pollution is rising, affordable housing is decreasing, and green space is shrinking. Since three-quarters of those joining the world's population during the next century will live in Third World cities, making these urban areas more livable is one of the key challenges of the twenty-first century. This book explores the linked issues of livelihood and ecological sustainability in major cities of the developing and transitional world. Livable Cities? identifies important strategies for collective solutions by showing how political alliances among local communities, nongovernmental organizations, and public agencies can help ordinary citizens live better lives.

Excerpt

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 . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.