Like the busloads of tourists who come to view the urban “townships” for South Africa such as Cross Roads, Khayalitsha and Soweto, this article questions what is happening while promoting the vibrancy and intensity of these places -s glorifying them the right thing to make them more habitabel for thsoe who don’t only visit but have to live there?
Kwinter used the dichotomy of city/nature, rooting in our historic perceptions that evolved in the Industrial era. As mentioned, this concept is characterized by a time“…when immense upheavals in social, economic, and political life transformed the very landscape around us and our relationship to it irreversibly and in depth.” (94)
In essence, the evolution of cities had previously existed in tandem with available natural resources, which limited their size and scope. Technological improvements in transportation and the accumulation of wealth shifted us from local dependence on surrounding nature. This has continued in our technologically advanced modern society, as Kwinter explains:
“Three billion of earth’s citizens today live in cities, and virtually all of the exponential growth in population anticipated over the next fifty years will be urban. A significant number of those who do not live in physical urban environments increasingly live in psychic ones…” (98)
:: Dharavi slum – image via Indian Adventures