The City and the Future

Why we should be critical of the rise of the city.

54% of humanity now lives in cities. By 2030, there will be 41 mega-cities across the world with populations that exceed 10 million. These cities will dictate the global economy, say the UN, who on 31st October held their inaugural “World Cities Day”, an initiative dreamed up to “greatly promote the international community’s interest in global urbanization”. Under the overall heading of “better cities, better life” the organisers’ belief is that “urbanization should be seen as an opportunity to harness cities as engines of growth, and to lead a positive transformation towards sustainable development”. The event was cheered on by the Guardian and their brand new Cities section.

In stark contrast, a two-day event took place in London over the weekend that explored similar issues but f

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