Projections suggest cities will swell at an astonishing pace – but whether that means our salvation or an eco-disaster is by no means certain
The 1960 street map of Lagos, Nigeria, shows a small western-style coastal city surrounded a few semi-rural African villages. Paved roads quickly turn to dirt, and fields to forest. There are few buildings over six floors high and not many cars.
No one foresaw what happened next. In just two generations Lagos grew 100-fold, from under 200,000 people to nearly 20 million. Today one of the world’s 10 largest cities, it sprawls across nearly 1,000 sq km. Vastly wealthy in parts, it is largely chaotic and impoverished. Most residents live in informal settlements, or slums. The great majority are not connected to piped water or a sanitation system. The city’s streets are choked with traffic, its air is full of fumes, and its main dump covers 40 hectares and receives 10,000 metric tons of waste a day.
Overstretched Cities is an in-depth look at how urbanisation has seen cities all over the world mushroom in size, putting new strain on infrastructure and resources – but in some cases offering hope for a more sustainable relationship with the natural world.
Bangalore is the worst city in the world for unchecked urbanisation
The city stretches so far. It is like a new world where I know no one and nothing
African cities cannot become sustainable by building roads. They must embrace public transport
Link : The 100 million city: is 21st century urbanisation out of control?