Thursday, 18 January 2007

High Speed Urbanization

In these Amazing Zeroes, where the global economic growth is as high as ever, delivering hundreds of millions of people from poverty into middle class life styles, another very important transition is taking place: Urbanization. The urban population is now passing the rural population. In the years ahead we will see a rapid increase in urban population and a resulting decline in rural population. Eventually more than 90% of all people will be living in cities and the countryside will be reserved for the few and the very rich.

This development is taking place so quickly, that it is amply called High Speed Urbanization. Some Megacities like Shanghai in China is increasing with more than one million people pr. yr. And Chinese Universities are working with Danish Architects to design beautiful and functional Ecocities for millions of people. See about the project: CO-EVOLUTION, which won The Golden Lion in Venice.

The enemies of growth condemn this development. They have a very sentimental idea of the quality of living from subsistence agriculture. The truth is, that the poorest, least educated people with the lowest life expectancies are living in rural communities subjected to the whims of nature in form of droughts, floods and numerous other natural disasters. The enemies furthermore have completely forgotten that the transition from rural life to urban life already has taken place in the developed countries. It was exactly the increase in agricultural productivity, which released people from backbreaking labor and made them move to cities, where they could get an education and higher paid jobs. This is what the Chinese and Indians and Africans are doing now. How can we blame those people? We did the same ourselves for three generations ago.

The challenge is not to try make people live against their will in poor rural communities. It is to develop big cities into nice ecofriendly havens with an abundance of challenges and opportunities.

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