International Handbook of Urban Policy, Volume 3
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International Handbook of Urban Policy, Volume 3

Issues in the Developing World

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.
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Chapter 5: Differential Urbanization: Linking First and Developing World Experiences

B. Graizbord, D. Mookherjee and H.S. Geyer


B. Graizbord, D. Mookherjee and H.S. Geyer Introduction More than five years ago Kontuly and Geyer edited a special issue of Tijdschrift voor Economische en Sociale Geografie (TESG, 94, 2003) with the purpose of elevating the concept of differential urbanization from model to theory status by empirically testing it in a number of developed and less developed countries. Contributors included Champion (2003: 11–22) for Great Britain; Bonifazi and Heins (2003: 23–37) for Italy; Heikkilä (2003: 49–63) for Finland; Kontuly and Dearden (2003: 64–74) for Western Germany; Geyer (2003: 89–99) for South Africa; Tammaru (2003: 112–23) for Estonia; Nefedova and Treivish (2003: 75–88) for Russia; Mookherjee (2003: 38–48) for India; and Gedik (2003: 100–111) for Turkey. It is not the purpose of this chapter to systematically review all these papers but rather to highlight some of their, as well as other, findings of related work with a view to determining their possible implications for further comparative analysis. Tammaru (2003) observed that Estonia’s urban growth was not differentiated by size, positing several important reasons. One was the stability of the country’s rural population, the other external migration to urban areas during the 1970s and 1980s. Another factor that could have played a role later on during the 1990s was perhaps the outflow of Estonians after the collapse of the Soviet regime in 1991. But in general, conclusions drawn by the contributing authors confirmed a progression of phased urban development from urbanization through polarization1...

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