International Handbook of Urban Policy, Volume 3

International Handbook of Urban Policy, Volume 3

Issues in the Developing World

Elgar original reference

Edited by H. S. Geyer

This important Handbook reveals that most urban growth takes place in the less developed world and much of it represents over-urbanization – that is, urbanization in which most migrants cannot effectively compete for employment, cannot find adequate shelter and do not have the means to feed themselves properly. Yet, compared to rural poverty, urban poverty is widely regarded as the lesser of the two evils.

Preface

Edited by H. S. Geyer

Subjects: development studies, development studies, politics and public policy, public policy, urban and regional studies, urban studies

Extract

The countries that are written about in this volume are sometimes referred to as the South, otherwise they are categorized as developing. In more ways than one these terms are misleading since the countries do not all lie in the south and neither are they all developing; in fact their state of development could range from fast growing to what could only be described as ravished. At the bottom end of the scale lie countries such as Zimbabwe and Sudan which have been ravished by war and internal conflict over many years. At the other end lie Singapore, Taiwan, Korea – the ‘Tigers’ of the Pacific Rim – and other newly industrialized countries (NICs). And somewhere in between lie a whole array of countries, some fast catching up with the NICs while others are losing ground and are sinking to the bottom. Countries such as Vietnam, Malaysia and Thailand as well as awakening giants such as China and India have gained momentum in recent years, but South Africa, which in the past used to be indicated on maps as ‘developed’ has since lost some ground in several areas – manufacturing, infrastructure, municipal prudence and education. All of these countries have one thing in common; they have dichotomous economies with large parts of their populations living under or close to the breadline, while relatively small proportions are on the same level as people enjoying a high living standard in developed countries. The 1970s can in many respects be regarded as the watershed decade of...