We all know How Agriculture Ruined the World, but did you know by 2008 half the world will live in cities? That is a cold, blunt, fact that makes us all smaller.

LONDON (AP)
– Most of humanity will be living in cities by next year, raising the
threat of increased poverty and religious extremism unless the needs of
growing urban populations are met, the U.N. said Wednesday. Some 3.3
billion people will live in cities by 2008, a report by the U.N.
population agency report said. By 2030, the number of city dwellers is
expected to climb to 5 billion.

Without proper planning, cities across the globe face the treat of
overwhelming poverty and limited opportunities for youth, said U.N.
Population Fund Executive Director Thoraya Ahmed Obaid.
“In 2008, half of the world’s population will be in urban areas, and we
are not ready for them,” said Obaid told The Associated Press in London.

Are we in for more Contrails into Chemtrails as a form of urban population control?

Is religious fanaticism really behind the enormous migration into the urban core?

A revival in religious interest has been a surprising
characteristic of rapid urbanization, according to the report.
Urbanization is often associated with a shift toward secular values.
But the growth of new religious movements–such as radical Islam in the
Middle East, Pentecostal Christianity in Latin America and the cult of
Shivaji in India–has been a primarily urban phenomena, the report said.
When cities fail to meet the needs of growing populations, religious
beliefs tend to become extreme, said Obaid, who is also a U.N.
undersecretary-general.

Extremism is often a reaction to rapid and sudden change or to a
feeling of exclusion and injustice, and the cities can be a basis for
that if they are not well managed,” Obaid said.

Smaller cities will absorb the bulk of urban growth, the report said.

What is lost in the expansion of cities beyond the rural life and the shrinking of suburbia?

“We’re focusing on the megacities when the data tell us
most of the movement will be coming to smaller cities of 500,000 or
more,” Obaid said.
Smaller cities may be more flexible in expanding their boundaries and
adapting their policies, but they also have fewer resources and smaller
governments than major cities accustomed to large migrant populations.

The population fund found that policy initiatives in smaller cities
often aim to keep the poor out by limiting migration and cutting
lower-income housing.
“Cities see poor people as a burden,” Obaid said. “They should be seen
as an asset.”

What are the advantages in city living?
Would you rather live next to someone or on top of someone?
What happens when we run out of horizontal space and the vertical horizon becomes filled with living spaces?

What will replace the urban core when it inevitably cracks and crumbles under the ongoing turbid ebb and flow of human misery?

28 Comments

  1. I take that point, Karvain, but if you are few and far apart doesn’t that mean you rely on each other even more because no one else is around you?
    Isn’t it easier in an urban core to excuse a call for help by thinking the other guy will come to the rescue?

  2. Not everyone is a forethinker, Karvain. Shyness doesn’t cut it in the wild but in the city you are made to disappear. To step forward and make eye contact in an urban core is to risk a confrontation even if your life is in danger. In the rural communities pleas for help are seldom ignored.

  3. Thanks for that wonderful map, Katha!
    Would you live in a rural area in India? Is there enough of an infrastructure there to support commerce or are those areas mainly agricultural?
    Are there any population controls mandated by the government?

  4. You are welcome David!
    My hometown is a rural area though I grew up in one of the biggest cities in India.
    The place is basically agricultural and so is the economy. Infrastructure is poor but rapidly growing…noone knew what to do with a broadband connection – whether to eat it or not…but today people are aware of it and understand the importance of it.
    Yes, family planning policies are mandated in India, at least theoratically but implmentation is very complex as threre are lots of other issues (religion, being biased for sons etc) in play which prohibit the proper practice of the programmes.

  5. Hi David,
    2/3rd of India have electricity, running water and sewer systems but the statewise distribution is not very planned.
    The case of having 10 daughters and still trying for a son used to happen 2 generations back – the damage is done then.
    Now a days this doesn’t happen but what happens is even more dangerous – people abort the female fetus illegally.

  6. Hi David,
    Wanting to know the gender of a fetus is illegal unless specifically prescribed by a doctor.
    As it is a patriarchical society, in case one wants to abort a child she needs a signature either from her husband or from a senior member of a family.
    In most cases the father/family pressurizes for having a son, it becomes a trophy for a family.

  7. True David.
    I do respect the fact and I am enjoying every bit of it.
    The only thing is the choice was not a conscious one – neither mine, nor my father’s.
    If I would have been given one, or with a little permutaion and combination of coincidence…?
    That’s a different story.