Redesigning Cities: Could Urban Planning be a Catalyst for Development?
Urbanisation – driven both by population growth and high levels of rural-urban migration – is now happening at an unprecedented scale and pace, constituting what the World Bank describes as “the defining phenomenon of the 21st century”. An estimated 3.5 billion people now live in cities and this growth is overwhelmingly concentrated in the developing world. Of these urban dwellers in the south, roughly 1 billion live in slums usually with little access to water, sanitation or adequate – and legally recognised – shelter.
These statistics have produced diverging visions of the future southern cities as either ‘apocalyptic shantytowns’ or hotbeds for growth and innovation. And despite the success of reaching MDG 7.D – to “significantly improve the lives of at least 100m slum dwellers” – ahead of schedule, forecasts predict another 2 billion new urban residents over the next 20 years. It is clear that the ability of cities to absorb this growth, in a sustainable and equitable way, while continually planning for the future, presents both distinct challenges and opportunities.
Read more via The Guardian