n Africa Insight - Threats arising from the urbanisation of poverty : some pointers from Shanghai

Volume 41, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-2804


Migration from rural areas to the cities of the developing world is proceeding apace. Although the transfer of rural poverty to the urban domain poses a number of economic, environmental and social threats, it also affords a number of opportunities. Given that this transfer is a , how should developing-world cities, facing formidable financial constraints, cater for these newcomers? Shanghai provides a useful case study of a city that reinvented itself through an aggressive economic growth-led approach, albeit at some environmental cost. It is concluded that the threats to developing-world cities by the urbanisation of poverty lie not so much with the immediately obvious effects of the migration, but rather with the inability of some city administrations to respond creatively to the challenges.

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