Issues in the Developed World
Edited by H. S. Geyer
Chapter 13: Winds of Change: Controversies Underlying the Urban Policy Debate
H.S. Geyer Introduction Winds of change have been blowing over Europe and North America since the 1960s, and the people living there had to brace themselves on each occasion. Some winds were locally generated, such as the rude awakening of the USA, and to a lesser extent the UK, in regard to their overvalued real-estate properties and the credit crunches that were created there by defaulting home owners during 2008. However, some of the coldest and strongest economic gusts that have hit the two subcontinents in recent years have been blowing mainly from South-East Asia. Particularly cold winds of immigration and cultural change have also been blowing over Europe from Africa, Asia and Central and Eastern Europe, while similar winds have been blowing over the USA from Central America. Although some of the changes were externally induced, enforced upon the regions from forces from without, others were caused by social and population changes that have gradually been taking place in the regions since the 1970s. Whatever their cause, all these changes are real, are unlikely to be turned around, and are bound to significantly affect the lives and lifestyles of the people living in the cities in the regions in years to come. It is the purpose of this chapter to highlight some of the causes and consequences of these changes and to consider how they are likely to affect urban policy in the future. Some of the issues that will be discussed are stand-alone, others are largely stand-alone but...
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