From GeorgeMonbiots blog on gaurdian.co.uk more of what planners and urban designers know but is seldom put before the public at large – that the planning of our cites has degenerated into a tussle between business and politics….
As the balance of the world’s population tips from rural to urban, we need strict urban planning to keep cities from collapse
For at least a century, governments have tried to urbanise their nations. Communist states sought to drag people out of what Marx and Engels called their “rural idiocy”. Capitalist governments – Mahatir Mohammed’s administration in Malaysia is a good example – tried to persuade and bully indigenous people into leaving the land (which then became available for exploitation) and move to the cities to join the consumer economy. Urbanisation was equated with progress and modernity.
In a few nations such as Britain there is a significant middle-class flight to the countryside, while in most places, as agro-industry replaces subsistence farming, as local marketing networks collapse and ecosystems fail, the countryside is emptying out and the cities are bulging. In 2007 the balance of the world’s population tipped from rural to urban. Continue reading