Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Future is Blight

Following on to the blog that for the first time in recorded history, the majority of the world's population is living in cities , it is reported that the urban population will have doubled by 2030 . The urban population will have risen to 5 billion, 60 per cent of the world's population by 2030 and young people will make up the vast majority .

The shanty towns that choke the cities of Africa and Asia are experiencing unstoppable growth, expanding by more than a million people every week, according to the U.N. It maintains that over the next 30 years, the population of African and Asian cities will double, adding 1.7 billion people - more than the current populations of the US and China combined. The majority of this urban poor will be under 25, unemployed and vulnerable to religious fundamentalism .

Mike Davis, a population expert, described this emerging underclass in his recent work Planet of Slums as:

"A billion-strong global proletariat ejected from the formal economy, with Islam and Pentecostalism as songs for the dispossessed."

More than 90 per cent of this underclass are in the developing world, with South Asia having the largest share, followed by eastern Asia, sub-Saharan Africa and Latin America. In sub-Saharan Africa, growth has become synonymous with slums and 72 per cent of the population live in slum conditions. Asia's urban population will increase from 1.3 billion to 2.64 billion. Africa's population will rise from 294 million to 742 million, Latin America and the Caribbean from 394 million to 609million.

"It's pointless trying to control urban growth by stopping migration," George Martine , a demographer and the author of the report said. "It doesn't work. We have to change mindsets and take a different stance. We're at a crossroads and can still make decisions which will make cities sustainable. If we don't make the right decisions the result will be chaos."

As Socialists are oft to say - Either Socialism or Barbarism

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