336 pages, Figs, tabs, maps
Massive urban growth can either help pave the way to sustainable development or greatly exacerbate poverty and environmental stress. The outcome depends on decisions being made now. The first part of this book takes a critical look at the forecasting of population growth and migration using the UN Population Division's cities databases.
The second part looks specifically at urbanization and poverty, focusing attention on the critical issues of urban shelter, land and service provision and the socioeconomic and demographic information needed for improving governance and social programmes. Part three looks at social difference, equity and urban demography, pointing out the potential advantages of urbanization for poverty reduction, the empowerment of women and youths, and even the reduction of HIV/AIDS.
The final part of the book examines social and sustainable use of urban space including coping with urban expansion, urban sprawl, global environmental change and urbanization. There is also special treatment China, and the critical case of urbanization in low elevation coastal zones in the context of global climate change and rising sea levels.
'This remarkable book convincingly challenges urban misconceptions about such issues as growth, poverty and the environment, and uses compelling evidence-based arguments to demonstrate why urbanization is the most important 21st century priority. Its ambitious, comprehensive scope ... ensures that it will become an indispensable classic for policymakers, practitioners and academics.' Caroline Moser, Director, Global Urban Research Centre, Manchester University 'Too many policymakers fear our urban future, seeing only slums and strife. With the help of this excellent and timely volume, they should look again, and they may see a fast-disappearing historic opportunity: well-managed urban growth has the potential to provide more solutions than problems.' Billy Cobbett, Manager of Cities Alliance 'We need to recognize the centrality of urbanization's challenges and their overwhelming impacts, especially in poorer countries ... This book helps overcome national and international resistance to this agenda and, more importantly, indicates alternative approaches that serve to dispel our puzzlement at this gigantic challenge.' Erminia Maricato, Former Undersecretary, Ministry of Cities, Brazil
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