Monday, December 17, 2007

Mass Migration

My dad, William Evitts, has just published two book reviews on urban planning in Asia. One appears in the most recent issue of The Next American City. The second appears online at TNAC's website. Both explore the challenges facing Asia today.

We are entering a new phase in human history, one where more people will live in urban spaces than in rural environments. By 2030, estimates say that 60% of the world's population will inhabit urban places. This is evidenced perhaps most strongly in Asia, where the impact of a massive migration is having a staggering effect on the land and the people. The U.N. calculated that 200 million Chinese alone will be making the shift from rural to urban, marking one of the (perhaps the) largest migrations in human history. Dad notes: "For comparison, consider the estimated 12 million Africans spirited away to slavery in the wider world. That process took four centuries."

In the meantime, the Rockefeller Foundation began examining this global evolution through an Urban Summit held at their Bellagio center in Italy this summer. Some of the papers that came out of that meeting can be found by clicking here.