Cities have been redefining our existence as nothing else, in recent times, with majority of the world population headed to the cities; may it be education, polity, culture, a new way of living, economy et al. The simple understanding of push-pull factors of urbanisation, migration, the traffic snarls, the concrete jungle, slums and like doesn’t do justice to the phenomenon in the making – Urban Planet.
To the present 3.5 billion lives already organised in cities, will be joined by another 2 billion in the next twenty five years. Thus, by 2040, nearly two thirds of the world’s population would be living in cities. Over the next thirty years, India’s urban population would double. Might be the nature of what we call the “city” has itself changed. The result in process is much bigger in scale than the “mega cities,” we have talked about. Though, not as a part of a planned process, the planet is itself being organised into a City single, complex, connected but still very unstable urban system.
The explanation for the city’s new dynamics is being found in globalisation, which is too nebulous a concept, for providing in depth perception into the emergence of this nature of urban revolution & urbanism. International political revolutions are birthed in cities, side by side with new industries, financial crisis et al, the scale being well beyond we can imagine for a city. Herein, lies the dichotomy & also an indication of role the cities would play in future.
Every city has a heart, mind & identity of its own. A city is beyond what we understand today. City Buliding would define our existence – ecology, economy, environment & social relations. Globalisation & nation states narrative barely tells the real story. We are moving from political to functional geography. Parag Khanna in his book Connectography talks about the impact connected mega cities are making to the world.
Cities are our shared future. Successful models ought to emerge.
QUALITY OF CITY BUILDING WOULD DECIDE THE SUCCESS OF THE WORLD.