The global population is increasingly gravitating towards urban areas. This shift has already taken place in many small countries, not to mention China, which now has more people living in cities and towns than villages. But even in India – where nearly 70% of the populace is rural, and more than half of all citizens are still reliant upon agriculture – the urban population has grown faster than the rural population over the past decade.
Latin America is no longer a largely rural region. After 60 years of chaotic but rapid urban development, four-fifths of its population now live in towns or cities, a prey to all the ills of modernity and globalisation. Despite the fact that exports from these countries depend mainly on farming and mining, more than two-thirds of their gross national product comes from cities, home to services and industry. Although Latin America has huge expanses of territory, nowhere else has achieved this level of urbanisation.
In its most recent report on the state of the world's cities, focusing on trends in Latin America and the Caribbean, the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN-Habitat) casts new light on the contrasts.
The story of Medellín’s evolution turns out to be neither as rosy nor as straightforward as fans of new architecture have tended to portray it. It’s generally told as a triumph for Sergio Fajardo, the son of an architect who is the governor of the region and who was the city’s visionary mayor from 2004 to 2007. He pushed an agenda that linked education and community development with infrastructure and glamorous architecture.
But the city’s transformation established roots before Mr. Fajardo took office, in thoughtful planning guidelines, amnesties and antiterrorism programs, community-based initiatives by Germany and the United Nations and a Colombian national policy mandating architectural interventions as a means to attack poverty and crime...
To reduce crime, Medellin and Bogota in Colombia, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo in Brazil, and Monterrey and Ciudad Juarez in Mexico all have endeavored to extend permanent police presence and economic development to at least some of their poor neighborhoods. Yet to be effective, such policies need to overcome a multitude of complex challenges. Infrastructure projects rarely do the trick on their own.
Depuis la fin de l’ère des chasseurs‐cueilleurs, et dès l’aube des sédentarisations agricoles, c’est la ville qui concentre et exprime l’essence des civilisations humaines, en constitue le grand livre, en autorise le déchiffrage.
Il y a donc lieu de se poser trois questions, dont dépend une partie de l’avenir de l’homme :
1. Le creuset de nos propres mutations, la ville, est‐il capable de continuer à jouer ce rôle, c’est‐à‐dire à la fois de faire muter l’humanité vers un avenir en train de s’écrire, et d’en constituer le lieu d’un épanouissement soutenable ? 2. Consacrons‐nous à son élaboration, l’organisation, l’intelligence, les structures, les moyens, les laboratoires qui vont nous permettre de franchir cette étape, celle du facteur de croissance 10, qui n’est pas un peut‐être, mais une certitude, inscrite dans le train en marche de la démographie mondiale et de la mondialisation économique ? 3. Quel nouveau contrat social faut‐il concevoir, entre la ville, l’entreprise et l’agriculteur pour que ce dernier devienne un partenaire du développement durable et non plus un laissé pour compte de l’expansion économique ?
The 2012 LSE Cities conference explores how urban societies across the world are adapting to and embracing technological innovation and environmental change. We have been given exclusive access to some of the data visualisations on display at the event
A shortage of job opportunities has slowed migration from rural to urban areas in many parts of Africa over the last two decades, and has even reversed it in a few cases, an expert on African demography says....
Squatters often need to keep people around to protect their land, presumably from those who would try and claim it as their own, and providing formal property rights through land titling would free these family members up to go do more productive things...
Tuesday’s Technology Salon NYC offered a space to discuss some of the key challenges and good practice related to working with children, youth, and urban communities and explored the potential role of ICTs in addressing issues related to urban poverty.
Picture this: a terrible drought forces you to abandon your meager plot of farmland, so you migrate to a city where the jobs are, only to end up living in a slum regularly submerged...
To adapt to the new reality, aid agencies will need to invest more in disaster prevention and learn a trick or two from the private sector about how to make more efficient use of limited resources, the survey of 41 relief organizations shows.
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