Cities and Development

Jo Beall, Sean Fox

Research output: Book/ReportAuthored book


By 2030 more than sixty percent of the world's population will live in urban areas, with most of the world’s population growth over the next twenty-five years being absorbed by cities and towns in low and middle income countries. What are the consequences of this shift? Demographic pressure already strains the capacity of local and national governments to manage urban change. Today, nearly one billion people live in slums, and in the absence of significant intervention that number is set to double in the next two decades. Will our future be dominated by mega-cities of poverty and despair, or can urbanization be harnessed to advance human and economic development?

Cities and Development provides a critical exploration of the dynamic relationship between urbanism and development. Highlighting both the challenges and opportunities associated with rapid urban change, the book surveys:

the historical relationship between urbanization and development
the role cities play in fostering economic growth in a globalizing world
the unique characteristics of urban poverty and the poor record of interventions designed to tackle it
the complexities of managing urban environments; issues of urban crime, violence, war and terrorism in contemporary cities
the importance of urban planning, governance and politics in shaping city futures.
This book brings into conversation debates from urban and development studies and highlights the strengths and weaknesses of current policy and planning responses to the contemporary urban challenge. It includes research orientated supplements in the form of summaries, boxed case studies, development questions and further reading. The book is intended for senior undergraduate and graduate students interested in urban, international and development studies, as well as policy-makers and planners concerned with equitable and sustainable urban development.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Publication series

NameRoutledge Perspectives on Development

Structured keywords

  • PolicyBristolGovernanceAndPublicServices
  • PolicyBristolGlobalPoliticalEconomy
  • PolicyBristolSocialChangeAndDiversity


  • Development Studies
  • Urban Studies


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