Getting Past Megacities: How Peri-Urban Has Become the New City Center | Wilson Center
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Getting Past Megacities: How Peri-Urban Has Become the New City Center

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Half of the world’s seven billion people currently live in cities, one billion of them in informal settlements; the United Nations projects that the global urban population will expand to as many as five billion over the next two decades. As a result of failing rural economies, conflicts, material inequalities, gentrification, and other urban development programs, people are moving into, out of, and through cities in search of profit, protection, and passage elsewhere. Once sparsely occupied peri-urban areas have become stations and destinations for people moving out of the city and those first coming to it. These peri-urban zones are where the future of cities – their opportunities and deprivation – lie. Yet we know little about these peripheral areas. Indeed, understanding their unique, often hybrid, socio-economic and political dynamics is central to achieving equitable growth, environmental sustainability, and political stability.

Three urban experts participated in a discussion, drawing from experiences In Africa, Asia, and Latin America on issues paramount to sustainable urbanization: land tenure, municipal finance, and citizen security.



Photo Credits: "Favela no de Rio," courtesy Flickr user kevin.j