Humankind’s future will unfold largely in urban settings. The turn of the twenty-first century will mark a divide from a predominantly rural world to one where the majority of people will be living in cities. By the year 2000 there will be more than 400 cities in the world with over 1 million inhabitants. Of these, 28 will be mega-cities with populations exceeding 8 million, and two-thirds of these mega-cities will be in the developing countries. The management of these urban giants, the provision of shelter, services, and a livelihood to their inhabitants in an economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable manner, will be a major challenge in the coming years.
In this book a group of leading scholars and planners from the developed and developing countries, and officials from the World Bank and the Population Division of the United Nations, examine a range of issues related to the mega-city phenomenon. Part one deals with the growth of mega-cities and explores demographic issues, labour force change in the big cities of Asia, the effects of macroeconomic forces on the world city system, and the relations between technology and the city. In part two the discussions focus on the economic and social consequences of mega-city growth. Part three looks at the crucial issue of the management of mega-cities, taking up such issues as infrastructure financing, land and shelter needs, transportation, and environmental management. The final chapter examines priority urban management issues in developing countries and derives a research agenda for the 1990s.
This comprehensive study will be of interest not only to demographers, urban geographers, economists, and other scholars but also to planners and practitioners involved with urban development.