Nine Out of 10 Latin Americans Will Live in Cities by 2050

Region is already the world’s most urbanized, with 80 percent of the population living in cities. 

FROM FOX NEWS LATINO:

RIO DE JANEIRO –  Almost nine out of every 10 people in Latin America will live in a city by the year 2050, and the region should use this moment of economic stability and slower population growth to make those cities more equitable, said a UN report issued Tuesday.

The report by the United Nations Human Settlements Programme said the region is already the world’s most urbanized, with 80 percent of the population living in cities. This growth came at a cost: it was “traumatic and at times violent because of its speed, marked by the deterioration of the environment and above all, by a deep social inequality,” the report said.

“The main challenge is how to develop in a way that curbs the enormous inequalities that exist within cities,” said Erik Vittrup, the head of human settlements of UN-Habitat’s regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean. “There are other cities that have been through these urban transformations and don’t have this level of inequality. It goes against the economic model in Latin America. Cities didn’t grow more inclusive; the prosperity wasn’t for everyone.” READ MORE.

China: $8 Trillion for Urbanization

PALASH R. GHOSH writes in the INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS TIMES:

China needs to Spend Almost $8 Trillion to Cope with Massive Migration of Rural Peoples Into Cities.

China needs to spend £5 trillion ($7.8 trillion) over the next two decades as an additional 200 million people are expected to move into the urban centers of the country, a new government report warned.

There are already up to 300 million migrant workers who have taken up residence (often illegally) in China’s metropolises. Many of these arrivals live in substandard housing and toil at low-paying, menial jobs.

The report, entitled “Blue Book of Cities in China” and released by the Chinese Academy of Social Science’s Institute for Urban and Environmental Studies, underlines the massive problems China faces as its population rapidly urbanizes. READ MORE.

WSJ: For Creative Cities, the Sky Has Its Limit

RICHARD FLORIDA WRITES IN THE WALL STREET JOURNAL:

It’s not enough to build tall if people aren’t thrown together to interact—just look at Shanghai vs. New York.

Ours is the century of the city. For the first time in history, more than half of the people in the world, 3.3 billion of us, live in cities. By 2050, according to the best projections, urbanites will account for as much as 70% of the global population.

Over the next 50 years we will spend trillions of dollars on city building. The question is: How should we build? For many economists, urbanists and developers, the answer is simple: We should build up. But the answer is more complex than that.

Researchers at the Santa Fe Institute have been able to demonstrate that bigger, denser cities literally speed up the metabolism of daily life. Larger beasts may have slower metabolisms in the animal kingdom, but the opposite occurs in cities, which get faster as they grow. Doubling a city’s population, the Santa Fe researchers found, more than doubles its creative and economic output, a phenomenon known as “superlinear scaling.”

Still, density is only part of the solution. In the hyper-crowded skyscraper districts of Shanghai, densities can approach 125,000 people per square mile. Giant buildings often function as vertical suburbs, muting the spontaneous encounters that provide cities with so much of their social, intellectual and commercial energy. People live their lives indoors in such places, wearing paths between their offices and the food courts, always seeing the same people. READ MORE.

BBC: Is Dar es Salaam Africa’s next megacity?

Dar es Salaam is the largest city in Tanzania with a population estimated in 2009 at 3.2 million. Tanzania’s population of 44 million is forecast by the United Nations (medium variant scenario) to rise to 138 million by 2050. Its fertility ratio is 5.5 children per woman, one of the highest in the world.

JOE BOYLE writes in the BBC NEWS MAGAZINE:

BBC News, Dar es Salaam

Visionaries hope for a modern metropolis modelled on Singapore, but pessimists fear the emergence of another dirt-poor city of slums. Dar es Salaam is one of the world’s fastest growing cities, and it has reached its tipping point.

In the dark basement of the cavernous Kariakoo market, dozens of traders gather at tiny makeshift stalls, arranging fruit and vegetables into neat piles. This part of the market has the least sought-after plots, and all of the stallholders have one thing in common: none of them was born in Dar es Salaam.

Rolens Elias arrived seven years ago from a village near Morogoro, about 150km to the west. He had been a farmer but wanted to try his luck as a trader. He now makes about 3,000 shillings ($2; £1.50) each day selling tomatoes in the farthest corner of the basement.

“It has been hard to set up a life here,” he says. “I came here by myself and had to wait until I had enough money to bring my wife and family. We all live in one room, but it’s a better life than in the village.”

As he arranges his tomatoes, a group of his friends gather around and chip in with their own stories. They are all from Morogoro, and all came to Dar es Salaam in the hope of a better life. They all contrast the rural poverty they were born into with the lure of Dar es Salaam and its big-city opportunities. READ MORE.