Saturday, July 11, 2020

Planning Megacities in the Global South

I am thrilled to announce the publication of my new edited book "The Routledge Handbook of Planning Megacities in the Global South". The book is the culmination of my research interest on various aspects of planning in megacities of the Global South. I have studying Jakarta for more than twelve years on many aspects of planning such as transportation, housing, poverty, informality, resilience, spatial planning, and community participation. This blog established in January 2007 is the compilation of my research on various aspects of planning in Indonesian cities particularly Jakarta. I have been wondering if we could have a book that offers various aspects of planning from all megacities in the Global South. We should learn from the best practices and challenges of planning practices in all megacities in the Global South. The scale and complexity of megacities should make this book a significant resource for the discipline of urban planning.

The book provides rigorous comparative evidence of planning megacities of the Global South. The book discusses the planning challenges, processes, and initiatives of 28 megacities in the Global South. These megacities are located in all continents of the Global South including Middle America, South America, Middle East, Africa, South Asia, East Asia, and Southeast Asia. A total of 51 scholars from different geographies and career stages contributed to this volume and discussed the best practices and challenges of planning in 29 chapters. Breadth is the main strength of this volume. The chapters cover just about every major issue. The specific focus on planning is unique and essential for the discipline of urban planning. Most contributors are non-Western researchers who have the knowledge and credentials to write about the challenges and opportunities of planning in megacities globally. This is one of important features of the book. The following section is the introduction of the book that is also available from this link.

Introduction of the book

The world has transformed and cities are now home to 55 percent of the world’s population (UNDESA 2019). The world’s urban population is projected to rise to sixty percent of world’s population and 730 million people will live in megacities by 2030. Megacities will play a very critical role in the sustainability and livability of the globe in the next few decades (Sorensen and Okata 2011). Some studies define megacity as a city with more than 5 million inhabitants (Beirle et al 2011; Kraas 2007). This book uses the definition of megacity as a continuous urban area with a population in excess of 10 million people. This definition has also been widely used by the United Nations reports particularly the World Urbanization Prospects of the UN’s Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA).  

The global population has experienced a process of rapid urbanization more than six decades ago. Between 1960 and 2018, the global urban population grew about four-fold, from 1.02 billion to 4.22 billion. In 1960, about two-third of the world’s population resided in rural areas. For the first time in history, the world’s urban population exceeded the world’s rural population in 2007 and since then the world’s urban population has grown faster than the rural population.

In 1960, industrialized countries in the Global North had more than sixty percent of the population lived in urban areas. Some countries in South America including Uruguay, Argentine, Chile, and Venezuela and some countries in the Middle East including Qatar, Bahrain, Israel and Kuwait and United Arab Emirates had also achieved high levels of urbanization. On the other hand, most countries in Asia and Africa had low levels of urbanization. These countries had less than a quarter of the population lived in the urban areas including Democratic Republic of the Congo (22.3), Pakistan (22.1), India (17.9), China (16.2%), Indonesia (14.6%), Angola (10.4%) and Tanzania (5.2%).

Between 1960 and 1980, some countries in the Middle East including Libya, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon, Oman and Iraq, a few African countries (Djibouti, Zambia and Mauritania), South Korea and a few European countries (Bulgaria, Belarus, and Norway) were urbanizing faster with the proportion of urban population increased by more than 20 points. For instance, the urban population in Libya had increased by 43 points from 27% in 1960 to 70% in 1980. Over the same period of time, some South and Middle American countries such as Brazil, Peru, Suriname, Venezuela, Colombia, and Mexico had also experienced high levels of urbanization by 11-20 points. Figure i shows the changes of the level of urbanization by countries during 1960-1980, 1980-2000 and 2000-2020. 

Figure i
The changes of the level of urbanization by countries; Data source: UNDESA, 2019

Some countries in Africa including Botswana, Gabon, and Mauritania experienced the world’s highest pace of urbanization between 1980 and 2000. The urban population in these African countries and a few other countries including Oman, South Korea, Turkey and Malaysia had increased by more than 20 points from 1980 to 2000. Three large and populous countries including China (16.5 points), Indonesia (19.9%) and Brazil (15.7%) also experienced high levels of urbanization over the same period of time. Between 2000 and 2020, China is expected to urbanize at the highest level. China’s level of urbanization is projected to increase from 36% in 2000 to 61% in 2020. Some countries including Haiti, Thailand, Maldives, Costarica, Laos, Dominican Republic and Albania are expected to become more significantly more urbanized and increase their level of urbanization by more than 20 points.

In 1960, only three cities could be classified as a megacity: Tokyo, Osaka and New York. All these megacities are located in the Global North. In 1980, two new megacities in the Global South met this classification: Mexico City and Sao Paulo. In 2000, the world’s megacities grew to 16 megacities including 5 megacities in the Global North (Tokyo, Osaka, New York City, Los Angeles, and Moscow) and 11 megacities in the Global South (Delhi, Shanghai, Mumbai, Beijing, Dhaka, Cairo, Mexico City, Sao Paulo, Kolkata, Buenos Aires, and Rio de Jainero).

According to the World Urbanization Prospects (UNDESA 2019), there were 17 new megacities between 2000 and 2018. Only one megacity out of these seventeen new megacities came from the Global North: Paris. The new sixteen megacities of the Global South include four Chinese cities, three Indian cities, two Pakistani cities, two African cities, two South American cities, three other Asian cities.  

In 2030, the Global South is expected to home to 34 out of 41 megacities in the world as presented in Table i and Figure ii. The Global South will add new 7 world’s megacities between 2018 and 2030. These eight new megacities include Hyderabad, Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam, Ahmadabad, Luanda, Ho Chi Minh City, and Chengdu. The only new megacities from the Global North is London.

Figure ii
The world’s megacities in 2030

Structure of the book

The selection of megacities in this book was based on the data from the World Urbanization Prospects: the 2014 Revision (UNDESA 2015). A total of 41 metropolitans were projected to be megacities of more than 10 million people in 2030 as presented in Table i and Figure ii. Twenty seven out of 34 megacities of the Global South in the UNDESA Report are discussed in this book by mostly non-Western scholars from the Global South. This book consists of 7 parts and 29 chapters. Sao Paulo and Beijing are the megacities discussed in two different chapters. In addition, Wuhan was not listed in the UNDESA Report, but was included in this book. The projected number of Wuhan’s population in 2030 was 9.44 million.

While new megacities are forming across the globe, the exact number often varies since different countries and organizations have different definitions for a city or metropolitan. The definition of a city by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is based on functional economies or functional urban areas (OECD 2015). Meanwhile, UNDESA uses administrative boundaries used by each country. We will need to note such different definitions. For example, Jakarta was not defined as a megacity by the UNDESA Report in 2000, but it has met the definition of OECD. According to the UNDESA Report (UNDESA 2015), Jakarta’s population in 2000 was 8.39 million. Using the definition of OECD, Jakarta’s population in 2000 was 13.32 million including 8.39 million of the population of the Province of Jakarta and 4.93 inner peripheries of Jakarta. The inclusion of the inner peripheries of Jakarta refer to the functional urban areas (FUAs) as defined by the OECD. Most chapters of the book also discuss further about the population size of their respective megacity.  

The Routledge Handbook of Planning Megacities in the Global South attempts to identify challenges and best practices of planning from various focus of analysis in as many megacities as possible in the Global South. Each chapter will discuss a planning aspect in one megacity of the Global South. The contributors start the chapter with an introductory narrative of their respective megacity and continue with the focus on a planning aspect that stands out among other aspects of planning in their megacity. The strength of the book is on the variety of planning aspects discussed in those megacities of the Global South.

The book provides rigorous comparative evidence of planning megacities of the Global South. The book discusses the planning challenges, processes, and initiatives of 27 megacities in the Global South. These megacities are located in all continents of the Global South including Middle America (Mexico City), South America (Sao Paulo, Rio de Jainero, Buenos Aires, and Bogota), Middle East (Cairo and Istanbul), Africa (Lagos, Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam, and Luanda), South Asia (Delhi, Bangalore, Kolkata, Ahmadabad, Dhaka, Lahore and Karachi), East Asia (Shanghai, Beijing, Chongqing, Shenzhen, Chengdu, and Wuhan), and Southeast Asia (Jakarta, Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City). Each chapter explains the connection between its substantive and thematic focus and the idea of planning for places.

The book is aimed to contribute to the literature of international development and planning and to serve as a source of information in graduate and undergraduate courses that focus on international planning. This book is the first book on the subject of planning megacities of the Global South. Surprisingly few books have cities of the Global South as their focus of interest (Bhan, Srinivas and Watson 2017; Datta and Shaban 2016; Miraftab and Kudva 2014; Parker 2015; Parnell and Oldfield 2014). None of those books discuss specifically planning megacities of the Global South. This book will improve upon the competing titles because of the focus of my book on planning and megacities. Miraftab and Kudva (2014) and Parnell and Oldfield (2014) collect a long list of tcities of the Global South, but their focus of discussion is not on planning. Datta and Shaban (2016) use a few number of megacities in the Global South as the unit of analysis and examine the challenges and contradictions of mega urbanization.  Bhan, Srinivas and Watson (2017) is the closest title to this book. Bhan, Srinivas and Watson (2017) is also an edited collection on planning in the Global South, but their unit of analysis is not megacities.

Part I – Managing the urban growth
The opening part of this book takes on the examination of urban forms and urbanization in five megacities including Buenos Aires, Ho Chi Minh City, Chongqing, Lahore and Bangalore. This part discusses the challenges and initiatives from different continental perspectives in managing the urban growth. Libertun examines the suburbs of Buenos Aires that become a landscape of high social contrasts between affluent gated communities and informal settlement. Libertun notes undergoing process of a third wave of urban transformation through the upgrading and conversion of informal settlement and housing complexes. Nguyen et al examine the most recent spurt of urbanization through real estate maps in Ho Chi Minh City and offer suggestions towards sustainable development. Roast focuses the analysis of Chongqing’s urbanization since it was designated as a province-level municipality in 1997. Roast notes that the attempt to stabilize the growth of the last two decades with the creation of a stable property market in the suburbs and the reorganization of land development corporations to control the rapid expansion of the urban periphery. Javed critically examines the factors that shape the landscape of Lahore including political power, economic and market forces and ineffectiveness of institution. Javed argues that the city need to understand those factors and create a more equitable and sustainable development. Ramachandra and his team use simulation and modelling of the urban dynamics to understand the trends of urbanization in Bangalore. They use the results to mitigate uncontrolled and unrealistic Bangalore’s rapid urbanization.

Part II – Shaping the future: the legacy of spatial planning and master plans
The second section of this book discusses the processes and the role of spatial planning and master plans in shaping the future of four megacities including Johannesburg, Dar es Salaam, Chengdu and Wuhan. This section explores the evolution, challenges and key innovations of spatial planning and master plans in those four megacities towards sustainable cities. Harrison and Todes explore the evolution of strategic spatial planning including key innovations, projects and challenges in Johannesburg. They note main vehicle for strategic spatial planning is the use of spatial development frameworks that advocate for compact, densify and restructure the city through the use of an urban edge, corridors and nodes, inner city regeneration, infrastructure and economic development in Johannesburg. Omunga critically reviews plan-making, plan implementation and development strategies in Dar es Salaam. Omunga examines the failures of the 1949, 1968 and 1979 Master Plans and assess the ongoing development of Master Plan 2012-2032. Omunga notes that land use, infrastructure and environmental planning are the key areaas for creating a sustainable and more vibrant Dar es Salaam. Using the master plans of Chengdu, Fang and Wu examine the power dynamics between local and central government in shaping the future of the city. Zhu and Kung review the Wuhan Master Plan 2016-2030 and other planning best practices in Wuhan and find some approaches including the simulation using the economic-resource-environment (ERE) system that could help Wuhan more sustainable and resilience.

Part III – Connecting the places: transportation and infrastructure challenges and strategies
This part of this book takes a critical examination of transportation and infrastructure planning and development in five megacities including Bogota, Beijing, and Sao Paulo. This part discusses the role of transportation planning and transit development in the past and future development of these megacities. Oviedo and Guzman critically examine the evolution of the governance and regulatory framework of Bogotá in contrast with the spatial and socioeconomic aspects at the larger metropolitan scale. They note the role of transport and land use planning and governance in the future of development in Bogota. Qi and Sun summarize and review the transit development in the last few decades in Beijing and relate them with potential impacts on workers’ commuting patterns. They note the importance of transit development and social equity. Belik explores how people use and claim public spaces through the deactivated Minhocao highway in Sao Paulo. She notes the importance of how public spaces can be used democratically and encompass the plurality of voices around them.

Part IV – Confronting urban dualism in housing provision
Megacities in the Global South are increasingly emerging as cities of urban dualism and contradictions. The fourth section of this book discusses the challenges and contradictions between real estate development and informal settlements in five megacities including Kolkata, Delhi, and Karachi. This section explores the apparent paradoxes that currently characterize the residential areas of these three megacities. Sen and Ghosh examine urban planning practices in Kolkata from the perspective of urban duality and contradictions. They note that the fragmentation of urban landscape in Kolkata into space of global culture and informal spaces of slums and squatter settlements. Rishi and Syal critically examine the slums in Delhi and note the importance of more nuanced, participatory, place-based understanding of informal settlements before any planning intervention is executed. Shaheen reviews intragovernmental differences in the political will and administrative capacity to involve informal settlements. He notes that the foundation of top-down policy development approach should be challenged. The lower tiers of the state interactions with informal settlements must be established.

Part V – Planning for resilience
The fifth part of this book takes on the examination of resilience planning in four megacities including Istanbul, Dhaka, Bangkok and Shenzhen. Many megacities are facing serious planning challenges arising from their unique geographical locations and geology, rapid urban growth rate, and historical development patterns. This part discusses the challenges and initiatives for resilience planning to reduce and mitigate the impacts of earthquakes, flood, and nonpoint source pollution. Dedekorkut and her colleagues critically evaluate resilience planning to earthquakes in Istanbul. They review the transformation of the comprehensive model risk management system and the financed mega public infrastructure project. Ahmed examines the needs for climate risk management and resilience at urban and regional scale in Dhaka. He notes that Dhaka could prevent catastrophic human disaster and be more livable with resilience and development interventions. Wijaya discusses the status of development policy related to potentially climate-related disasters and its approach to mainstream climate resilience in urban development planning in Bangkok. He notes that it’s important to recognize climatic variability and changes by adjusting to the consequences of climate change. Liu et al critically review the master plan of the sponge city construction in Shenzhen. They note the challenges and uncertainties of future development and innovative measures to address the water pollution in Shenzhen.

Part VI – Democratizing planning processes
The sixth section of this book discusses the participatory planning practices in four megacities including Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Beijing and Jakarta. This section takes on the examination of planning process democratization in various settings including public hearings, local planning workshops, street vending, regulatory detailed plans and flood mitigation efforts. This section explores how these planning processes can be recast in the legitimate political action within urban politics. Torres explores how planning become an instrument of power and domination in Sao Paulo. Torres focuses on how argumentations deployed with the objective of disrupting people’s autonomous reflection capture people’s attention to public issues. Schmidt and Mueller critically the emergence of participatory budgeting in Mexico City. They note that participatory budgeting tends to omit the important role by local discourse in defining problematics and the potential solutions. Zhang critically examines the public participation requirements for changing the decision making process through development control and regulatory detailed plan in Beijing. Zhang notes that public participation is embedded into the original development control system rather than subverting it. Rukmana and his coauthor examine the extent to which rapid urbanization in Jakarta and its peripheries has contributed to the annual flooding and how the various flood management infrastructure developments have not addressed flooding in Jakarta. They note that the participation of affected residents is a key to sustainable and resilient solutions to annual flooding in Jakarta.

Part VII – Planning megacities in the Global South: challenges, reconfigurations and initiatives
The concluding part of this book collects the best practices and challenges of planning practices in six megacities including Cairo, Rio de Jainero, Ahmadabad, Shanghai, Lagos and Luanda. This part explores how these megacities manage and address rapid urban growth, mega events, infrastructure development projects, resettlement neighborhoods, and modernization. Ali critically examines how Cairo’s planning initiatives to address the rapid expansion of informal settlements on valuable farmland. Ali notes that the government should direct its limited resources toward upgrading informal settlements and revitalizing existing communities. Friendly reviews planning reconfigurations as a result of a series of mega-events including the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Jainero. She notes a range of dilemma created by the successive mega-events and the future of possibilities for planning in the post mega-events. Mittal and Byahut examines five planning initiatives and best practices in Ahmadabad as this city has emerged as a role model for other Indian cities. They note the importance of planners’ reliance on participatory and collaborative planning approaches and the role of community engagement and advocacy planning in involving marginalized groups. Zhang and Qian critically examines land expropriation-induced resettlement as a tool for accommodating urban transformation and outward expansion. They note that urban planners should reassess current resettlement policies that prioritize the compensation and relocation process while neglect villagers’ adaptive resilience and life transition challenges. Urban planners should incorporate cultural perspectives in governing land expropriation-induced resettlement neighborhoods. Abubakar and his colleagues critically review key urban planning challenges in Lagos. They examine how spatial plans and other planning initiatives in Lagos can effectively be implemented to address rapid urbanization. They note that facilitating public access to data, budgetary allocation with judicious use of resources, decentralization of planning activities, transparency, and increased public involvement in the planning process are some of the key tools for fostering urban sustainability in Lagos. In the last chapter, Milherio reviews the dysfunctionalities of Luanda’s modernization and focuses on infrastructures inherited from the colonial period and the consequences of urban segregation. Milherio notes that the dynamics of the formal city are a direct result of modernization and colonization in Luanda.

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