Monday, September 20, 2004

Planet of the Slums

/ urbanization / cancerous /
Urban theorist Mike Davis, author of the celebrated "City of Quartz" talks about the "future history of the Third World’s post-industrial megacities. A billion-strong global proletariat ejected from the formal economy, with Islam and Pentecostalism as songs of the dispossessed."
"Sometime in the next year, a woman will give birth in the Lagos slum of Ajegunle, a young man will flee his village in west Java for the bright lights of Jakarta, or a farmer will move his impoverished family into one of Lima’s innumerable pueblos jovenes. The exact event is unimportant and it will pass entirely unnoticed. Nonetheless it will constitute a watershed in human history. For the first time the urban population of the earth will outnumber the rural. Indeed, given the imprecisions of Third World censuses, this epochal transition may already have occurred..."

1 comment:

talos said...

old comments


"Ha-Joon Chang points out, saps hypocritically ‘kicked away the ladder’ (i.e., protectionist tariffs and subsidies) that the oecd nations historically employed in their own climb from agriculture to urban high-value goods and services."

"Do what we do, not what we tell you to do!"
Paul Krugman

The article was really very depresing…The scariest part is that the problem carries the seeds of its own solution. One way or another.

1. Plagues and AIDS could really wreak havoc on such communities.
2. Like the urban poor of the Middle Ages Europe (bursuasie) eventually changed their societies from the feudal to the capitalist models, so eventually these new bursuas may change theirs.

Of course it always goes back to the first mover advantage problem. In other words "What do you want to be if the neighbours let you grow up?"

2004-09-21 08:23