1963-2018 - 55 years of Research for Social Change

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Back | Programme Area: Governance (2000 - 2009)

Development and Cities

A Development in Practice Reader edited by David Westendorff and Deborah Eade

At the beginning of the 21st century, almost half of the world’s population is urban-dwelling, and this population is growing rapidly. This growth is vastly concentrated in the South.

As concentrations of economic and political power, cities have the potential to create opportunities for many. Yet growing numbers of the world’s poorest people live in cities, in poor-quality housing on dangerous sites, lacking even basic services. In many countries, budgetary constraints, structural adjustment processes, increasing wealth inequalities, and lack of popular participation in governance are worsening the position of the urban poor.

Typically, approaches to sustainable urban development have had a narrow environmental focus, not benefiting the majority. Similarly, the benefits of urban investment strategies have been concentrated in the hands of a minority. While decentralisation processes aim to promote effective and responsive urban governance, decentralisation in the absence of effective organising and financing frameworks impacts negatively on the lives of poor people.

Development and Cities explores the political, social, economic, and environmental viability of new and alternative approaches to urban development in the South. Using evidence from cities around the world, the contributors consider to what extent these approaches have the potential to increase access to decision-making forums, to adequate services, and to health and prosperity for all.

This Reader is available, by chapters, in PDF format.


  • Publication and ordering details
  • Pub. Date: 1 Jan 2002
    Pub. Place: Oxford
    ISBN: 0-85598-465-1
    Type: Paperback
    From: Kumarian Press