High-intensity living

Arrival City:

How the Largest Migration in History Is Reshaping Our World by Doug Saunders

Instead of fearing overcrowded cities, we should embrace their diversity. By Fred Pearce


The Guardian, Saturday 18 September 2010

“To that end, Saunders sees “high-intensity” living – overcrowding, in the words of most planners – as a key to success in arrival cities. It encourages the cheap housing, business start-ups, social networking and sheer spontaneity that are key to taking the next step up.

Things don’t always work out. When suburban neighbours turn their backs, the results can be frightful. He says the unmet demands of migrants in arrival cities triggered both the Islamic fundamentalist revolution in Iran in 1979 and Hugo Chávez’s populist Bolivarian revolution in Venezuela a decade later.

But he finds numerous models for success, too. In Chongqing and Rio de Janeiro; in the thriving economies being built out of notorious slums such as Dharavi in Mumbai and Orangi in Karachi; in the rise of Britain’s Bangladeshi migrants, which has enabled them to send money home to Sylhet, where the big new houses in the villages are known as Londoni houses.”



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