megacity

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pages: 565 words: 122,605

The Human City: Urbanism for the Rest of Us by Joel Kotkin

autonomous vehicles, blue-collar work, British Empire, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, citizen journalism, colonial rule, crony capitalism, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Downton Abbey, edge city, Edward Glaeser, financial independence, Frank Gehry, Gini coefficient, Google bus, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, labor-force participation, land reform, life extension, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pensions crisis, Peter Calthorpe, post-industrial society, RAND corporation, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Seaside, Florida, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, starchitect, Stewart Brand, Ted Nelson, the built environment, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, Whole Earth Catalog, women in the workforce, young professional

“World Megacities: Densities Fall as they become Larger,” New Geography, http://www.newgeography.com/content/004835-world-megacities-densities-fall-they-become-larger. ——— “World Megacities: Growing & Becoming Less Dense,” New Geography, http://www.newgeography.com/content/004823-megacities-growing-and-getting-less-dense. COX, Wendell and PAVLETICH, Hugh. (2014). “11th Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey: 2015,” Demographia, http://www.demographia.com/dhi.pdf. COY, Peter. (2012, November 16). “The Death of the McMansion Has Been Greatly Exaggerated,” Bloomberg Business, http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/articles/2012-11-16/death-of-the-mcmansion-has-been-greatly-exaggerated. CRITSER, Greg. (2010, September 2). “A Pill For Los Angeles? Medicating the Megacities,” Newgeography.com, http://www.newgeography.com/content/001742-a-pill-for-los-angeles-medicating-megacities.

In 1979, the village had roughly 30,000 people;19 now, it is a thriving metropolis of 12 million whose population grew 56 percent in the past decade. Its rise has been so recent and quick that the Asia Society has labeled it “a city without a history.”20 India matches Japan with three megacities, all growing much faster than any city in the high-income world. The population of Delhi, the world’s third-largest city, expanded 40 percent over the past decade; Mumbai, almost 20 percent; and Kolkata (Calcutta) roughly 10 percent, a relatively low rate for a city in a developing country. And there are likely to be more megacities of this kind in the future.21 By 2025, the ranks of megacities in poor countries seem certain to expand. United Nations growth projections to 202522 suggest nine more megacities could emerge by 2030, including Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad (all in India), Ho Chi Minh City (Vietnam), Bogotá (Colombia), Johannesburg-East Rand (South Africa), Luanda (Angola), and Hangzhou (China).23 SIZE IS NOT ENOUGH Conventional wisdom suggests that these dense urban areas are the key to creating prosperity and a better life for the population of developing countries.

Indeed many megacities—including one of the fastest-growing, Dhaka—are essentially conurbations, that is, spread-out areas of contiguous urbanization, dominated by very low-income people; roughly 70 percent of Dhaka households earn under US$170 a month, and many of them earn far less. They may be cities filled with aspiring people, but few get to fulfill their dreams. “The megacity of the poor” is how urban geographer Nazrul Islam describes Dhaka, his hometown.61 These conditions represent a break—hopefully not a permanent one—from the role that cities have served as engines of opportunity. This role was once true of many of the current megacities, particularly those that grew rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s. And even today, as these cities become more dystopic, the lure of the megacity for those stuck in rural poverty remains magnetic.


pages: 232

Planet of Slums by Mike Davis

barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, Bretton Woods, British Empire, Brownian motion, centre right, clean water, conceptual framework, crony capitalism, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, edge city, European colonialism, failed state, Gini coefficient, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet Archive, jitney, jobless men, Kibera, labor-force participation, land reform, land tenure, liberation theology, low-wage service sector, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, megacity, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, Pearl River Delta, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, rent control, structural adjustment programs, surplus humans, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, War on Poverty, Washington Consensus, working poor

According to a recent study, foul air is most deadly in the sprawling megacities of Mexico (300 bad ozone smog days per year), Sao Paulo, Delhi, and Beijing.41 Breathing Mumbai's air, meanwhile, is the 36 El Arabi, "Urban Growth and Environmental Degradation," pp. 392-94; and Oberai, Population Groivth, Employment and Poverty in Third World Mega-Cities, p. 16 (accident rate). 37 Glenn McKenzie, "Psychiatric Tests Required for Traffic Offenders," RedNova, 20 June 2003; and Pell, "Urban Housing and Services in Anglophone West Africa," p. 178. 38 Hindustan Times, 1 February 2004. 39 WHO, "Road Safety Is No Accident!" (November 2003); and Road Traffic Injuries Research Network cited in Detroit Free Press, 24 September 2002. 40 People's Daily (English), 24 June 2003. 41 Asim Khan, "Urban Air Pollution in Megacities of the World," Green Times (Spring 1997); published by Penn Environmental Group).

However, the populations of sub-Saharan Africa will triple, and of India, double. 6 Although the velocity of global urbanization is not in doubt, the growth rates of specific cities may brake abruptly as they encounter the frictions of size and congestion. A famous instance of such a "polarization reversal" is Mexico City, widely predicted to achieve a population of 25 million during the 1990s (the current population is between 19 and 22 million). See Yue-man Yeung, "Geography in an Age of Mega-Cities," International Social Sciences journal 151 (1997), p. 93. 7 Financial Times, 27 July 2004; David Drakakis-Smith, Third World Cities, 2nd ed., London 2000. SNOITIia R Figure 2 8 Third World Megacities (population in millions) 1950 ' 2004 Mexico City 2.9 22.1 Seoul-Injon 1.0 21.9 (New York 12.3 21.9) 19.9 Sao Paulo 2.4 Mumbai (Bombay) 2.9 19.1 Delhi 1.4 18.6 Jakarta 1.5 16.0 Dhaka 0.4 15.9 Kolkata (Calcutta) 4.4 15.1 Cairo 2.4 15.1 Manila 1.5 14.3 Karachi 1.0 13.5 Lagos 0.3 13.4 Shanghai 5.3 13.2 Buenos Aires 4.6 12.6 Rio de Janeiro 3.0 11.9 Tehran 1.0 11.5 Istanbul 1.1 11.1 Beijing 3.9 10.8 Krung Thep (Bangkok) 1.4 9.1 Gauteng (Witwatersrand) 1.2 9.0 Kinshasa/Brazzaville 0.2 8.9 Lima 0.6 8.2 Bogota 0.7 8.0 8 Composite of UN-HABITAT Urban Indicators Database (2002); Thomas Brinkhoff "The Principal Agglomerations of the World", www.citypopulation. de/World.html (May 2004).

In his study of the Mumbai region, Alain Jacquemin emphasizes the confiscation of local power by urban development authorities, whose role is to build modern infrastructures that allow the wealthier parts of poor cities to plug themselves — and themselves alone — into the world cybereconomy. These authorities, he writes, "have further undermined the 56 Oberai, Population Growth, Employment and Poverty in Third-World Mega-Cities, p. 169. 57 Nick Devas, "Can City Governments in the South Deliver for the Poor?," International Development and Planning Review 25:1 (2003), pp. 6—7. 58 Oberai, Population Growth, Employment and Poverty in Third-World Mega-C'ities, pp. 165, 171. tasks and functions of democratically elected municipal governments already weakened by the loss of sectoral responsibilities and financial and human resources to special ad hoc authorities. No wonder locally expressed needs at the municipal and neighborhood level remain unheard."59 With a handful of exceptions, then, the postcolonial state has comprehensively betrayed its original promises to the urban poor.


pages: 83 words: 23,805

City 2.0: The Habitat of the Future and How to Get There by Ted Books

active transport: walking or cycling, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, big-box store, carbon footprint, cleantech, collaborative consumption, crowdsourcing, demand response, housing crisis, Induced demand, Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, McMansion, megacity, New Urbanism, openstreetmap, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, Zipcar

At a sister site at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech), researchers slice the clouds with a shimmering green laser, trap air samples in glass flasks, and stare at the sun with a massive mirrored contraption that looks like God’s own microscope. These folks are the foot soldiers in an ambitious, interagency initiative called the Megacities Carbon Project. They’ve been probing LA’s airspace for more than a year, with the help of big-name sponsors like the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Keck Institute for Space Studies, and the California Air Resources Board. If all goes well, by 2015 the Megacities crew and colleagues working on smaller cities such as Indianapolis and Boston will have pinned down a slippery piece of climate science: an empirical measurement of a city’s carbon footprint. If that doesn’t sound like something Einstein would scarf down energy bars and hoof up a mountain to check out, give it time.

Since it adopted a climate plan in 2007, the city has met Kyoto Protocol reduction targets in part by taking thousands of diesel trucks off the road and screwing energy-saving LED bulbs into 140,000 streetlights. Officials want to cut emissions 35 percent from 1990 levels by 2030, and to do that they’re going to need a good verification system. The Megacities project “will show that there is a significant impact in what we do,” says Romel Pascual, Los Angeles’ deputy mayor for the environment. “When we talk about LA being green, people roll their eyes. They won’t believe it, right? That’s because of the history of LA. But when you look at the numbers of us hitting major milestones, LA is near the top.” Target practice One morning in January 2013, I pile into a Toyota Prius with Duren and Megacities colleagues Stan Sander and Eric Kort and take a spin up the rock-strewn roads of Mount Wilson. The trees are all scorched and leafless from the last forest fire, so there’s an excellent view of the smog.

“OCO-3 will have a ‘city mode’ where it rapidly starts sweeping back and forth like a whisk broom,” says Duren. He expects the satellite to take some 3,000 samples over a city in just a few seconds. Polluter profiling With this bulging grab bag of equipment, the Megacities team hopes to sculpt a model of LA’s emissions so detailed that they’ll be able to pull out individual signatures, such as exactly what and how much is spewing from rush-hour traffic or the port system or large landfills. Once they get an emissions baseline for Los Angeles, they hope to assist other cities in starting their own climate-reading networks. Duren’s team is already coordinating with French scientists running a Megacities sister project in Paris. (Researchers had to move a Picarro on the Eiffel Tower because its readings were skewed by steamy tourist lung vapors.) The Americans are also trying to link up with a third group in São Paulo, Brazil, which has long battled heavy air pollution.


pages: 501 words: 145,943

If Mayors Ruled the World: Dysfunctional Nations, Rising Cities by Benjamin R. Barber

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, American Legislative Exchange Council, Berlin Wall, bike sharing scheme, borderless world, Boris Johnson, Bretton Woods, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, clean water, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, David Brooks, desegregation, Detroit bankruptcy, digital Maoism, disintermediation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, Etonian, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, Filter Bubble, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global pandemic, global village, Hernando de Soto, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, In Cold Blood by Truman Capote, income inequality, informal economy, information retrieval, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, London Interbank Offered Rate, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, megacity, microcredit, Mikhail Gorbachev, mortgage debt, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Nicholas Carr, Norman Mailer, nuclear winter, obamacare, Occupy movement, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, profit motive, Ralph Waldo Emerson, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, Telecommunications Act of 1996, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Tobin tax, Tony Hsieh, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, unpaid internship, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, zero-sum game

The argument offered here also requires that we survey, understand, and build upon the successes of lesser known but robust civic entities and networks such as the United Cities and Local Governments, International Union of Local Authorities, Metropolis (the World Association of the Major Metropolises), the American League of Cities, ICLEI, the C40 Cities (focused on addressing climate change), the New Hanseatic League, the European Union’s Secretariat of Cities, the U.S. Mayors Climate Protection Agreement, the Association of (U.S.) Mayors Against Illegal Guns, the Megacities Foundation, CityNet, and City Protocol—among many others. These clumsily named and seemingly dull bureaucratic constructions are in fact birthing an exciting new cosmopolis whose activities and ambitions hold the secret to fashioning the global processes and institutions that states have failed to create. Many of these networks were created by or contributed to by a few global leaders such as Stuttgart’s Wolfgang Schuster, Barcelona’s Xavier Trias, and New York City’s hyperactive Michael Bloomberg. With or without authoritative underwriting, networked cities and megacities are likely to determine whether democracy—perhaps even civilization itself—survives in the coming decades, when the primary challenge will remain how to overcome the violent conflict within and between states, and how to address the cataclysmic economic and ecological anarchy and the inequalities and injustices that the absence of democratic global governance occasions.

Banfield could write with confidence that “most of the people of the world live and die without ever achieving membership in a community larger than the family or a tribe and that outside of Europe and America the concerting of behavior in political associations and corporate organizations is a rare and recent thing.”17 No more. In the half century since the eminent sociologist wrote, the city has taken still another leap forward: capital cities underwritten by megarhetoric have been morphing into networked megacities of tens of millions, intersecting with other cities to comprise today’s burgeoning megalopolises and megaregions in which an increasing majority of the earth’s population now dwells. Tribes still dominate certain cultures, but even in Africa megacity conurbations have emerged, representing territorially immense urban juggernauts that encompass populations of twenty million or more. Typical is Africa’s Lagos-Ibadan-Cotonou region, where Lagos alone is projected to reach twenty-five million by 2025, making it the world’s third-largest city after Mumbai and Tokyo, in a Nigeria that has six cities over a million and another dozen with 500,000 to a million—all of them growing rapidly.18 Then there is Kinshasa-Brazzaville, two interconnected cities separated by a river in rival “Congo” states.

Many older cities in the developed world, locked into a vanished age of urban manufacturing, are insignificant with respect to GDP and have little relevance to the governance issues we address here, while scores of unheralded newer ones are crucial. Cities are in any case undergoing constant change, as Daniel Brook’s fascinating “history of future cities” makes evident.5 Smaller “middleweight” cities are today outperforming many megacities in terms of overall household growth (see Table 2). According to McKinsey, Jakarta does better in this department than London, Jinan better than New York, and Taipei better than Los Angeles. Lagos actually outperforms twenty considerably larger megacities. Table 2: Top Cities in Terms of Absolute Household Growth, 2011–2025 (projected in terms of million households) Historically, too, the only constant has been change. Even with the later, somewhat larger, medieval walled towns that were beginning to feel like cities at the beginning of the second millennium, conditions still favored a self-sufficiency defined more by exclusion than inclusion—by what sociologists call bonding capital rather than bridging capital.


pages: 497 words: 144,283

Connectography: Mapping the Future of Global Civilization by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", 1919 Motor Transport Corps convoy, 2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 9 dash line, additive manufacturing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, amateurs talk tactics, professionals talk logistics, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Asian financial crisis, asset allocation, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Basel III, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, Black Swan, blockchain, borderless world, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, British Empire, business intelligence, call centre, capital controls, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, collateralized debt obligation, commoditize, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, crony capitalism, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, data is the new oil, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, Detroit bankruptcy, digital map, disruptive innovation, diversification, Doha Development Round, edge city, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, European colonialism, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, family office, Ferguson, Missouri, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, forward guidance, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, Google Earth, Hernando de Soto, high net worth, Hyperloop, ice-free Arctic, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, industrial robot, informal economy, Infrastructure as a Service, interest rate swap, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, John von Neumann, Julian Assange, Just-in-time delivery, Kevin Kelly, Khyber Pass, Kibera, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low earth orbit, manufacturing employment, mass affluent, mass immigration, megacity, Mercator projection, Metcalfe’s law, microcredit, mittelstand, Monroe Doctrine, mutually assured destruction, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, openstreetmap, out of africa, Panamax, Parag Khanna, Peace of Westphalia, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, Philip Mirowski, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-oil, post-Panamax, private military company, purchasing power parity, QWERTY keyboard, race to the bottom, Rana Plaza, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, Second Machine Age, sharing economy, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, TaskRabbit, telepresence, the built environment, The inhabitant of London could order by telephone, sipping his morning tea in bed, the various products of the whole earth, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, transaction costs, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, urban planning, urban sprawl, WikiLeaks, young professional, zero day

For example, although the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires are long gone, Constantinople—now Istanbul—survives as a center of commerce and culture whose geographic radius of influence stretches far beyond that of its imperial predecessors, even though it is no longer the capital of Turkey. Cities are the truly timeless global form. Cities in the twenty-first century are mankind’s most profound infrastructure; they are the human technology most visible from space, growing from villages to towns to counties to megacities to super-corridors stretching hundreds of kilometers. In 1950, the world had only two megacities of populations larger than 10 million: Tokyo and New York City. By 2025, there will be at least forty such megacities. The population of the greater Mexico City region is larger than that of Australia, as is that of Chongqing, a collection of connected urban enclaves spanning an area the size of Austria. Cities that were once hundreds of kilometers apart have now effectively fused into massive urban archipelagoes, the largest of which is Japan’s Taiheiyo Belt that encompasses two-thirds of Japan’s population in the Tokyo-Nagoya-Osaka megalopolis.

The London-based property developer Stanhope recently contracted with China’s Minsheng Investment and Advanced Business Park to overhaul East London’s Royal Albert Dock near the City Airport as a tax-free bridgehead for Chinese and Asian businesses. Beyond wealthy countries, far more countries have megacities that need Chinese-style thinking. Population growth and urbanization have taken cities to a scale never imagined. The largest cities of the West—New York, London, Moscow—have less than half the population of the developing world’s megacities such as Mumbai and Jakarta. And with the exception of Mexico City and São Paulo in Latin America and Lagos and Cairo in Africa, all of the world’s most populous metropolises are in Asia. Megacities are metabolic ecosystems constantly circulating demographic flows; daytime populations can be millions more than in the evenings. They are so large that major new infrastructures—even cities within the “city”—are needed so they can become less congested polycentric clusters.

Cities that were once hundreds of kilometers apart have now effectively fused into massive urban archipelagoes, the largest of which is Japan’s Taiheiyo Belt that encompasses two-thirds of Japan’s population in the Tokyo-Nagoya-Osaka megalopolis. China’s Pearl River delta, Greater São Paulo, and Mumbai-Pune are also becoming more integrated through infrastructure. At least a dozen such megacity corridors have emerged already. China is in the process of reorganizing itself around two dozen giant megacity clusters of up to 100 million citizens each.*3 And yet by 2030, the second-largest city in the world behind Tokyo is expected not to be in China but to be Manila. America’s rising multi-city clusters are as significant as any of these, even if their populations are smaller. Three in particular stand out. The East Coast corridor from Boston through New York to Washington, D.C., contains America’s academic brain, financial center, and political capital.


Autonomous Driving: How the Driverless Revolution Will Change the World by Andreas Herrmann, Walter Brenner, Rupert Stadler

Airbnb, Airbus A320, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blockchain, call centre, carbon footprint, cleantech, computer vision, conceptual framework, connected car, crowdsourcing, cyber-physical system, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, demand response, digital map, disruptive innovation, Elon Musk, fault tolerance, fear of failure, global supply chain, industrial cluster, intermodal, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, manufacturing employment, market fundamentalism, Mars Rover, Masdar, megacity, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer rental, precision agriculture, QWERTY keyboard, RAND corporation, ride hailing / ride sharing, self-driving car, sensor fusion, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Zipcar

There are many dramatic traffic conditions with miles of traffic jams and poor air quality, especially in the megacities of Southeast Asia and Latin America. Rapidly implementing autonomous and electric cars in emerging countries could improve road safety and protect the environment. People in these markets are very open to new technologies. China and India now have a higher market penetration of smartphones than western Europe. In and around the megacities, roads and telecommunication networks are often newer and better than in developed countries. A service network also has to be created, however, which is a particular challenge in emerging countries. CHAPTER 37 URBAN DEVELOPMENT MEGACITIES The year 2007 served as a historic marker in the history of human settlement. For the first time, more of the world’s population lived in cities than in the country.

In this book, we will therefore examine and discuss all (or as many as possible) of these developments. How will autonomous driving change people’s lives? What impact will it have on companies in the automotive and technology industry? Can environmental protection be improved? What will the economic consequences of Autonomous Driving 20 this technology be? How will legal and regulatory conditions have to be changed? How can traffic be organised with this technology, especially in megacities? Can autonomous driving improve a nation’s prosperity and competitiveness? These questions and others have to be answered so that autonomous mobility can be used for the benefit of people, companies, nations, cities and the environment. But before that, we need to look at some interesting facts about human driving, so that the significance of autonomous mobility and its social and economic consequences can be assessed.

Customers can choose from a wide variety of models, types, versions and equipment options to configure their own individual automobile. The diversity on offer is enormous, which is why many manufacturers would have to produce millions of cars before any two are identical in every detail. Driving a car can also be tedious and boring, when one considers the frequency and duration of traffic jams that occur every day, especially in megacities such as São Paulo, Cairo, Delhi, Beijing or Mumbai. People have had to adapt their lives to the traffic situation and many hundreds of kilometres of traffic jams every day. In Mexico City for example, the average commuter spends 220 hours in traffic jams each year, and there is no improvement in sight; on the contrary, the traffic situation is worsening permanently. The enormous population growth in these large cities combined with the growing demand for individual mobility is also leading to increased emissions and significantly higher numbers of accidents, especially in Asia and Africa.


City: A Guidebook for the Urban Age by P. D. Smith

active transport: walking or cycling, Albert Einstein, Andrew Keen, augmented reality, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business cycle, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, cosmological principle, crack epidemic, double entry bookkeeping, edge city, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, en.wikipedia.org, Enrique Peñalosa, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Frank Gehry, garden city movement, global village, haute cuisine, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of gunpowder, Jane Jacobs, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, Kickstarter, Kowloon Walled City, Masdar, megacity, megastructure, multicultural london english, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, peak oil, RFID, smart cities, starchitect, telepresence, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, Thomas Malthus, trade route, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Victor Gruen, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, young professional

Europe is the only region without a megacity. There are now some twenty-two megacities – those with populations of more than ten million people. These unprecedented concentrations of humanity are home to 5 per cent of the world’s population. Considerably more people live in metropolitan Mumbai than in Norway and Sweden combined. With a population of some twenty million people, greater São Paulo has just one million people less than the whole of Australia. In the last two decades, three million people a week have been flocking to the cities of the developing world. By 2030, the urban population of Africa will exceed the population of Europe. By then it is also predicted that megacities such as Shanghai will have to manage fourteen square miles of new growth each and every year. As they grow, some megacities are joining together to form ‘super-urban regions’, areas such as the Chengdu-Chongqing corridor city in China.

Trees, vines, and wildflowers would grow on roofs and out of windows; goats and wild animals – squirrels, possum, bats, owls, ravens, snakes, and insects – would live in the empty behemoths, adding their calls, hoots, and screeches to the smell of rotten leaves and animal droppings.’69 Perhaps unsurprisingly, the city authorities chose not to adopt this bold and original proposal, a sign of our uneasy relationship with urban ruins. Ballroom, Lee Plaza Hotel, Detroit. Downtown Seoul, South Korea. The district of Iztapalapa to the east of Mexico City. Afterword In the middle of the twentieth century, New York became the world’s first megacity, a metropolitan area with ten million or more inhabitants. By 2007, according to the UN, there were nineteen megacities, a figure that is expected to rise to at least twenty-six by 2025. Today’s cities and megacities are spreading out to form even larger urban systems. The term ‘Megalopolis’ was first used in 1961 to describe the sprawling city region that comprises Boston, New York, Philadelphia and Washington–Baltimore. Some fifty million people, or one in six of the US population, now live there.

On one side are the wealthy minority in their gleaming towers and gated communities. On the other are the slum cities of the poor, the ragpickers and the recyclers. Urbanisation may have reduced absolute poverty, but the urban poor are increasing steadily. There are well over a billion slum dwellers in the world today – nearly one in six of the population.69 The age of the megacities is also that of the megaslum. Out of the top twenty megacities, fifteen are in developing countries. Today, one in three city dwellers is living in a slum.70 Of course, there have always been slums in cities. The Romans complained about the ramshackle shacks that appeared on the outskirts of their cities and which were rebuilt almost as quickly as they were demolished. Throughout the Middle Ages in European cities like Paris, slums formed a major part of the urban landscape.


Growth: From Microorganisms to Megacities by Vaclav Smil

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, agricultural Revolution, air freight, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, Berlin Wall, Bernie Madoff, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, colonial rule, complexity theory, coronavirus, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, endogenous growth, energy transition, epigenetics, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, hydrogen economy, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, Isaac Newton, James Watt: steam engine, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, Law of Accelerating Returns, longitudinal study, mandelbrot fractal, market bubble, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, megastructure, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, moral hazard, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, old age dependency ratio, optical character recognition, out of africa, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, Productivity paradox, profit motive, purchasing power parity, random walk, Ray Kurzweil, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Republic of Letters, rolodex, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, technoutopianism, the market place, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, urban sprawl, Vilfredo Pareto, yield curve

The growth of Lagos exemplifies a key trend within the urbanization trend, as an ever-higher share of the urban population lives in cities that do not seem to end, encompassing areas equivalent to, or larger than, many small countries and with populations larger than those of most EU countries. These aggregations of humanity are known as megacities, while the extended urban area whose growth has eventually resulted in several merging cities is best described as an agglomeration or, pace Geddes (1915), as a conurbation. The Boston-Washington corridor in the northeastern US was the first, and is still perhaps the most famous, example of a megalopolis (Gottmann 1961). Megacities The usual dividing line between a large city and a megacity is put at 10 million inhabitants. But wherever that divide might be, megacities must be studied as functional units, not according to any official administrative delimitations. The distinction is illustrated by focusing on New York and Tokyo, the two original megacities. New York City (encompassing five boroughs centered on Manhattan) has a total area of 789 km2 and in 2016 it had a population of 8.54 million people.

Of course, all of these cities contain many smaller sections, wards, or districts where population densities reach even higher levels, and such densities can be found also in many cities smaller than 10 million people: Kwun Tong, Hong Kong’s most densely populated district in Kowloon (east of the former airport’s runway), houses more than 57,000 people/km2 (ISD 2015). Megacities span a wide range of developmental stages, from such mature metropolitan areas as London and New York to rapidly expanding agglomerations of housing and economic activity as New Delhi, Karachi, or Lagos. All megacities, regardless of their developmental stage, face the challenges of worrisome income inequality, poor living conditions for their low-income families, and inadequate and decaying infrastructures (most often evident in the state of public transportation). In addition, emerging megacities in low-income countries share serious to severe environmental problems (including crowding, air pollution, water pollution, and solid waste disposal), high unemployment levels (alleviated by extensive black economy sectors), and public safety concerns. And megacities also face what Munich Re, one of the world’s leading reinsurance companies, calls megarisks, as the unprecedented accumulations of population, infrastructures, economic activities, and wealth also pose the possibility of unprecedented payoffs in the case of major natural catastrophes, terrorist attacks, or war (Munich Re 2004; Allianz 2015).

But China has a better claim to having the world’s largest urban conglomeration in Guangdong’s Pearl River Delta, just north of Hong Kong, where some 65 million people lived in 2015 spread across an area of about 56,000 km2 (HKTDC 2017). Before the rise of megacities, most of the world’s largest cities during the preindustrial era were in Asia: eight out of ten in 1500 and still six out of ten in 1825, but then the Western urbanization shifted the order and by 1900 nine out of the ten largest cities were in Europe and the US (Jedwab and Vollrath 2014). But this shift was short-lived. By 1950 only five out of the top ten cities were in Europe and US, and only one (New York) remained by 2010. When using an extended functional definition, New York and Tokyo were the world’s only two megacities in 1950, and a quarter of a century later they were joined by Mexico City. The next 25 years saw the fastest additions to the global list, with 18 megacities by the year 2000, 29 by the end of 2015, and 31 in 2016 (UN 2016).


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Vertical: The City From Satellites to Bunkers by Stephen Graham

1960s counterculture, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Buckminster Fuller, Buy land – they’re not making it any more, Chelsea Manning, Commodity Super-Cycle, creative destruction, deindustrialization, digital map, drone strike, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, energy security, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Google Earth, Gunnar Myrdal, high net worth, housing crisis, Howard Zinn, illegal immigration, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, low earth orbit, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, megastructure, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, oil shale / tar sands, planetary scale, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, Project Plowshare, rent control, Richard Florida, Right to Buy, Ronald Reagan, Skype, South China Sea, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, trickle-down economics, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, WikiLeaks, William Langewiesche

In the United States, a recent market report noted that, while US military ‘operations in urban environments will be more frequent, thus increasing demands for rotorcraft’, the ‘Department of Homeland Security is expected to acquire hundreds of helicopters to support its expanded efforts at US borders.’25 The allure of helicopter-based policing is such that police forces in Global South megacities such as Lagos and Mumbai have announced their ambitions to imitate the Hollywood-style police operations of the LAPD that have been featured – along with their footage of the city below – in a thousand films, police drama shows and reality TV series. Some helicopter TV events, such as the real-time chase of O. J. Simpson in LA in 1994, have in turn become pivotal moments in the cultural history of aerial security. A whole genre of ‘scary police chases’ captured by the digital cameras of TV and police helicopters – as well as those in cars and roadside systems – is a major part of the reality TV and pulp documentary industry. Such systems and deployments fit perfectly into a world where the enemy is deemed to be ‘within’ the domestic megacity; mobilisation is permanent within boundless ‘wars’ against drugs, terrorism, insurgency or political disruption; and the labyrinthine worlds of urbanised terrain sprawls toward, and beyond, the horizon.

In building up a cultural obsession with ‘austerity chic’ and firing up demand among an affluent, design-conscious clientele for the tower’s now-private apartments, the image is used to sell off a great achievement of the socially universal welfare state. It therefore presides over what architecture critic Owen Hatherley calls ‘the literal destruction of the thing it claims to love.’82 Global South Megacities: ‘Heavenly Enclaves Surrounded by Slums’ Further startling examples of the elite domination of contemporary high-rise housing can be drawn from megacities in the Global South. The marketing of such towers is especially striking in Mumbai. ‘Reach for it!’ shouts the real estate billboard surrounding the new Indiabulls Sky Tower complex being built at the end of the new Bandra–Worli Sea Link sky bridge express way as it enters the city core. ‘Consider it a blessing to share the same address as God.’83 The building offers a long list of luxury services, a suite of pools, spas and restaurants, all in the relatively cool air above the twelfth floor; below these is a tall podium of stacked, private parking garages.

In the second example, at least 74 people were killed when construction waste accumulated over two years on a hillside slipped after heavy rain to bury thirty-three buildings in the sprawling megacity of Shenzen, China. One of the first such examples recorded by landslide experts, the Shenzen case demonstrates the risks involved in vertically shifting vast chunks of geology in the often corrupt construction of urban megaprojects. Officials responsible for the waste pile were quickly arrested. Landfill to Landfill The relationship between skyscraper and pit has taken on new implications. – Lucy Lippard Disasters like landfill slides involving the movement of waste ground in and around the world’s megacities are obscured by an almost complete absence of media coverage; by contrast other movements of waste and rubble spark long periods of total media saturation.


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The Rise of the Network Society by Manuel Castells

"Robert Solow", Apple II, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Bob Noyce, borderless world, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, complexity theory, computer age, computerized trading, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, declining real wages, deindustrialization, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, deskilling, disintermediation, double helix, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, edge city, experimental subject, financial deregulation, financial independence, floating exchange rates, future of work, global village, Gunnar Myrdal, Hacker Ethic, hiring and firing, Howard Rheingold, illegal immigration, income inequality, Induced demand, industrial robot, informal economy, information retrieval, intermodal, invention of the steam engine, invention of the telephone, inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, laissez-faire capitalism, Leonard Kleinrock, longitudinal study, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Marc Andreessen, Marshall McLuhan, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, moral panic, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, packet switching, Pearl River Delta, peer-to-peer, planetary scale, popular capitalism, popular electronics, post-industrial society, postindustrial economy, prediction markets, Productivity paradox, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social software, South China Sea, South of Market, San Francisco, special economic zone, spinning jenny, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Ted Nelson, the built environment, the medium is the message, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, transaction costs, urban renewal, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

There follows the separation between symbolic meaning, location of functions, and the social appropriation of space in the metropolitan area. This is the trend underlying the most important transformation of urban forms worldwide, with particular force in the newly industrializing areas: the rise of mega-cities. Third millennium urbanization: mega-cities The new global economy and the emerging informational society have indeed a new spatial form, which develops in a variety of social and geographical contexts: mega-cities.70 Mega-cities are, certainly, very large agglomerations of human beings, all of them (13 in the United Nations classification) with over 10 million people in 1992 (see figure 6.4), and four of them projected to be well over 20 million in 2010. But size is not their defining quality. They are the nodes of the global economy, concentrating the directional, productive, and managerial upper functions all over the planet: the control of the media; the real politics of power; and the symbolic capacity to create and diffuse messages.

Current trends point in the direction of another Asian mega-city on an even greater scale when, in the early twenty-first century, the corridor Tokyo–Yokohama–Nagoya (already a functional unit) links up with Osaka–Kobe–Kyoto, creating the largest metropolitan agglomeration in human history, not only in terms of population, but in economic and technological power. Thus, in spite of all their social, urban and environmental problems, mega-cities will continue to grow, both in their size and in their attractiveness for the location of high-level functions and for people’s choice. The ecological dream of small, quasi-rural communes will be pushed away to countercultural marginality by the historical tide of mega-city development. This is because mega-cities are: centers of economic, technological, and social dynamism, in their countries and on a global scale; they are the actual development engines; their countries’ economic fate, be it the United States or China, depends on mega-cities’ performance, in spite of the small-town ideology still pervasive in both countries; centers of cultural and political innovation; connecting points to the global networks of every kind; the Internet cannot bypass mega-cities: it depends on the telecommunications and on the “telecommunicators” located in those centers.

Policies of regional development may be able to diversify the concentration of jobs and population to other areas. And I foresee large-scale epidemics, and disintegration of social control that will make mega-cities less attractive. However, overall, mega-cities will grow in size and dominance, because they keep feeding themselves on population, wealth, power, and innovators, from their extended hinterland. Furthermore, they are the nodal points connecting to the global networks. Thus, in a fundamental sense, the future of humankind, and of each mega-city’s country, is being played out in the evolution and management of these areas. Mega-cities are the nodal points, and the power centers of the new spatial form/process of the Information Age: the space of flows. Having laid out the empirical landscape of new territorial phenomena, we now have to come to grips with the understanding of such a new spatial reality.


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Cities Are Good for You: The Genius of the Metropolis by Leo Hollis

Airbnb, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Boris Johnson, Broken windows theory, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, cellular automata, clean water, cloud computing, complexity theory, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, East Village, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, Firefox, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, housing crisis, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Long Term Capital Management, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, negative equity, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, place-making, Ray Oldenburg, Richard Florida, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, spice trade, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Great Good Place, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, trade route, traveling salesman, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, Y2K, Yom Kippur War

But it is precisely these ‘impersonal, superficial, transitory’ relationships that make the city so unique and important. It is the abundance of these weak ties that brings people to the city, for it is the intensity of these informal relationships that makes the city so special – and it is these weak ties that will hold the mega-city together. In his book Loneliness, evolutionary psychologist John Cacioppo proposes that we are hard-wired to be together and that a sense of loneliness is a warning sign, telling us to make more connections for improved chances of survival rather than an existential condition. As the mega-city grows around us we are going to have to adapt our connections and relationships accordingly, finding new ways of living together that benefit us all. The city is built on weak links; it is these moments of human contact that act like electricity for the city.

But the balance of world urban populations is shifting. It is not only cities getting larger, but where they are, that will define their future shape. In 1950 there were only eighty-three cities that had a population exceeding 1 million; today there are over 460. Sixty years ago, there was only one mega-city, defined as an urban area containing more than 10 million people. In those days New York had a total population of 12 million, London just under 9 million and Tokyo, the third-largest city, accounted for 7 million. The development of new mega-cities was a sharp, millennial shift: in 1985, there were nine in all; this rose to nineteen in 2004, and today is estimated at twenty-five. By 2025 the number will have climbed to thirty-six. It is significant where these cities have grown and how fast. Here is the top ten: Tokyo 34.5 m 0.6 per cent growth per year Guangzhou 25.8 m 3.8 per cent Jakarta 25.3 m 3.2 per cent Seoul 25.3 m 1.25 per cent Shanghai 25.3 m 4.0 per cent Mexico City 23.2 m 1.7 per cent Delhi 23.0 m 3.0 per cent New York 21.5 m 0.35 per cent São Paulo 20.8 m 1.3 per cent Mumbai 20.8 m 2.0 per cent.2 The size, as well as the speed at which these cities are growing, will have a huge impact on how the urban world develops.

China will continue to urbanise, and in the next twenty years over 350 million will settle in new cities, more than the entire population of the US. India, a nation that its liberating founder Mahatma Gandhi claimed had its soul in the village, will, by 2030, be a country of sixty-eight cities of over 1 million, thirteen cities with over 4 million and six mega-cities with a population each of over 10 million, with the capital at New Delhi reaching 46 million, twice as large as the total population of Australia. What will these mega-cities feel like? In many ways, they have already arrived and one only needs to visit Mexico City or Nairobi to experience the impact of so many bodies crammed into one place together. Getting around Mumbai was a constant battle. Bodies, cars, taxis, autorickshaws, the unusual sight of an ox-drawn cart and the back-breaking effort of pulling a hand trolley laden with packing boxes, overstuffed sacks and timber.


The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable by Amitav Ghosh

Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, British Empire, carbon footprint, Donald Trump, double helix, Fellow of the Royal Society, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, James Watt: steam engine, Mahatma Gandhi, market fundamentalism, megacity, Naomi Klein, non-fiction novel, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, Upton Sinclair, upwardly mobile, urban planning

First some of the infrastructures created, are not maintained as good practice would demand; second, many of the measures announced have not been finalized (especially the renovation of the city’s water system) and third, informal practices prohibit planning and applying measures.’ (‘Risk Governance in the Megacity Mumbai/India’, 9–10). 63 in recent years: Because of emergency measures the death toll of the 2013 Category 5 storm, Cyclone Phailin, was only a few dozen. See the 14 October 2013 CNN report, ‘Cyclone Phailin: India Relieved at Low Death Toll’. 64 planning for disasters: Ranger et al. observe that while Mumbai administration’s risk reducing measures are commendable, ‘they do not appear to consider the potential impacts of climate change on the long-term planning horizon’. (‘An Assessment of the Potential Impact of Climate Change on Flood Risk in Mumbai’, 156). 64 ‘post-disaster response’: Friedemann Wenzel et al., ‘Megacities—Megarisks’, Natural Hazards 42 (2007): 481–91, 486. 64 disasters of this kind: The Municipal Corporation of Great Mumbai’s booklet Standard Operating Procedures for Disaster Management Control (available at http://www.mcgm.gov.in/irj/portalapps/com.mcgm.aDisasterMgmt/docs/MCGM_SOP.pdf) is explicitly focused on floods and makes no mention of cyclones.

The Maharashtra government is also opening many unbuilt sea-facing areas, like the city’s old salt pans, to construction (see The Hindu’s Business Line of 22 August 2015: http://m.thehindubusinessline.com/news/national/salt-pan-lands-in-mumbai-to-be-used-for-development-projects/article7569641.ece). 66 corrugated iron: Carsten Butsch et al., ‘Risk Governance in the Megacity Mumbai/India’, 5. 66 Arabian Sea: Cf. C. W. B. Normand, Storm Tracks in the Arabian Sea, India Meteorological Department, 1926. I am grateful to Adam Sobel for this reference. 68 city as well: During the 2005 deluge, ‘The waterlogging lasted for over seven days in parts of the suburbs and the flood water level had risen by some feet in many built-up areas.’ B. Arunachalam, ‘Drainage Problems of Brihan Mumbai’, 3909. 68 illness and disease: See Carsten Butsch et al., ‘Risk Governance in the Megacity Mumbai/India’, 4. 68 40,000 beds: Cf. Municipal Corporation of Greater Mumbai’s City Development Plan, section on ‘Health’ (9.1; available here: http://www.mcgm.gov.in/irj/go/km/docs/documents/MCGM%20Department%20List/City%20Engineer/Deputy%20City%20Engineer%20(Planning%20and%20Design)/City%20Development%20Plan/Health.pdf). 69 urban limits: Aromar Revi, ‘Lessons from the Deluge’, 3912. 69 rising seas: Natalie Kopytko, ‘Uncertain Seas, Uncertain Future for Nuclear Power’, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists 71, no. 2 (2015): 29–38. 69 ‘safety risks’: Ibid., 30–31. 70 models predict: ‘All the models are indicating an increase in mean annual rainfall as compared to the observed reference mean of 1936 mm, and the average of all the models in 2350 mm [by 2071–2099].’

The key concern here is that developers’ interests do not overpower “public interest”, that the rights of the poor are upheld; else displacement from one location will force them to relocate to another, often more risk-prone location’ (‘Lessons from the Deluge’, 3914). 71 threatened neighbourhoods: Climate Risks and Adaptation in Asian Coastal Megacities: A Synthesis Report, World Bank, 2010 (available at file:///C:/Users/chres/Desktop/Current/research/coastal_megacities_fullreport.pdf). The report includes a ward-by-ward listing of the areas of Kolkata that are most vulnerable to climate change (88). 74 ‘below this point’: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/04/21/world/asia/21stones.html. 75 with the ‘sublime’: Cf. William Cronon, ‘The Trouble with Wilderness; or Getting Back to the Wrong Nature’, in Uncommon Ground: Rethinking the Human Place in Nature, ed.


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Cities Under Siege: The New Military Urbanism by Stephen Graham

addicted to oil, airport security, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, creative destruction, credit crunch, DARPA: Urban Challenge, defense in depth, deindustrialization, digital map, edge city, energy security, European colonialism, failed state, Food sovereignty, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Google Earth, illegal immigration, income inequality, knowledge economy, late capitalism, loose coupling, market fundamentalism, mass incarceration, McMansion, megacity, moral panic, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, one-state solution, pattern recognition, peak oil, planetary scale, private military company, Project for a New American Century, RAND corporation, RFID, Richard Florida, Scramble for Africa, Silicon Valley, smart transportation, surplus humans, The Bell Curve by Richard Herrnstein and Charles Murray, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Washington Consensus, white flight, white picket fence

The overwhelming majority of these will be in the burgeoning cities and megacities of Asia, Africa and Latin America. To be sure, many cities in developed nations will still be growing, but their growth will be dwarfed by urban explosion in the global South. As demographic, political, economic and perhaps technological centres of gravity emerge in the South, massive demographic and economic shifts will inexorably continue. As recently as 1980, thirteen of the world’s thirty biggest cities were in the ‘developed world’; by 2010, this number will have dwindled to eight. By 2050, it is likely that only a few of the top thirty megacities will be located in the erstwhile ‘developed’ nations (Figure 1.2). 1.2 World’s largest thirty cities in 1980, 1990, 2000 and (projected) 2010. Table illustrates the growing domination of ‘mega-cities’ in the global South.

Between 2003 and 2008, Urban Resolve served as the basis for a series of massive military simulations across nineteen separate military bases, involving more than fifteen hundred participants and using some of the US military’s most sophisticated supercomputers (Figure 6.6). The simulations projected sites of massive urban wars involving US forces in 2015, complete with a range of imagined new US sensors, surveillance systems, and weapons geared specifically towards the kind of warfare that could unveil the ‘fog of war’ in a megacity. Opposition forces, programmed to fight autonomously within the virtualized megacity, were equipped with technologies projected to be available on the open market in 2015 – including their own robotic vehicles. As part of its mandate to ‘replicate real-world geography, structures and culturally relevant population behaviors’,56 Urban Resolve even simulated the daily rhythms of the virtualized Jakarta and Baghdad: At night the roads were quiet; during the weekday rush hours, traffic clogged the roads.

They tend to see rural or exurban areas as the authentic and pure spaces of white nationalism, associated with Christian and traditional values. Examples here range from US Christian fundamentalists, through the British National Party to Austria’s Freedom Party, the French National Front and Italy’s Forza Italia. The fast-growing and sprawling cosmopolitan neighbourhoods of the West’s cities, meanwhile, are often cast by such groups in the same Orientalist terms as the mega-cities of the Global South, as places radically external to the vulnerable nation – territories every bit as foreign as Baghdad or Gaza. Paradoxically, however, the geographical imagination which underpins the new military urbanism tends to treat colonial frontiers and Western ‘homelands’ as fundamentally separate domains – two sides in a clash of civilizations, in Samuel Huntington’s incendiary and highly controversial hypothesis.10 This imaginative separation coexists uneasily with the ways in which the security, military and intelligence doctrines addressing both increasingly fuse together into a seamless whole.


Smart Cities, Digital Nations by Caspar Herzberg

Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, business climate, business cycle, business process, carbon footprint, clean water, cloud computing, corporate social responsibility, Dean Kamen, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, Edward Snowden, hive mind, Internet of things, knowledge economy, Masdar, megacity, New Urbanism, packet switching, QR code, remote working, RFID, rising living standards, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, smart meter, social software, special economic zone, Stephen Hawking, telepresence, too big to fail, trade route, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce, working poor, X Prize

All cities will become smarter as the Internet of Everything suggests new ways to monitor services and generate less waste, inefficiency, and energy usage. But it is important to note that the future likely does not belong primarily to the megacities (generally defined as cities with populations in excess of ten million). The McKinsey Global Institute notes that while we may expect six hundred cities to generate 60 percent of the global GDP into the foreseeable future, much of the growth will occur in cities that are quickly developing after years of backwater existence. These urban centers, with populations between 150,000 and one million, are forecast to generate economic activity at the expense of established megacities over the next decade. Some will become megacities in their own right, but many more will be characterized by less sprawl, poverty, and slum conditions. The lion’s share of these cities will in fact be in emerging countries.4 It is in these environments that the most efficient and far-reaching smart and connected developments are expected.

So how can the smart city concept and the technology master planning approach described and tested in the previous chapters be used to tackle the ultimate brownfield challenge: centuries-old megacities like Cairo, Mexico City, and many more that have tens of millions of inhabitants and are indispensable to their nation’s economic growth and social peace. Smart city technology is not just a trillion-dollar industry; it is the key to tackle some of the most pressing challenges of the twenty-first century. Cairo is the epicenter of a nation that has been counted on as a pillar of relative stability in a volatile region. Among the top-tier crowded megacities, few can match this complex, fascinating place for sheer unpredictability. Cairenes are resilient people who often deal with the strain of living in their crowded city with good humor and plenty of street-level, extemporaneous adjustments.

The worst slums created in Western nations during the Industrial Revolution have been eradicated, but those oppressive conditions have been duplicated and extended in many developing nations. Meanwhile, developed cities are faced with the challenges of modernization as they attempt to combat congestion, develop better services for residents and businesses, conserve resources, and remain economically vital. There are more cities and megacities than at any point in history, and many more will rise in the coming decades. The world is faced with a choice. City development can progress in a manner that makes the most of new technologies and commits resources to upgrading old and obsolete features, or it can adopt technology in a haphazard, insecure manner that does little to com bat the grave population and environmental problems we face.


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No Ordinary Disruption: The Four Global Forces Breaking All the Trends by Richard Dobbs, James Manyika

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, access to a mobile phone, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, Bakken shale, barriers to entry, business cycle, business intelligence, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, cloud computing, corporate governance, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, demographic dividend, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Erik Brynjolfsson, financial innovation, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, global village, hydraulic fracturing, illegal immigration, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, inventory management, job automation, Just-in-time delivery, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Mohammed Bouazizi, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, old age dependency ratio, openstreetmap, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, private sector deleveraging, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, recommendation engine, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, spinning jenny, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, TaskRabbit, The Great Moderation, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, urban sprawl, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, working-age population, Zipcar

•They will overhaul organizational structures, talent strategy, and operating practices to reflect the new shift. Focus on Cities and Urban Clusters, Not Regions or Countries Global consumption is experiencing an unprecedented shift in power toward emerging-market cities. The continued rise of megacities—familiar entities with populations of ten million or more, such as Shanghai, São Paulo, and Moscow—is driving this trend. But the truly dramatic consumption growth will come from middleweight cities such as Luanda, Harbin, Puebla, and Kumasi, four hundred or so of which will generate the GDP equivalent to the entire US economy by 2025.30 In China, the shift in the weight of consuming households from the megacities on the east coast to interior middleweight cities (populations of between two hundred thousand and ten million people) is already visible. In 2002, only 13 percent of China’s urban middle class lived inland, with the remaining 87 percent living in coastal areas; that figure is set to rise to nearly 40 percent by 2022.31 The consumer landscape in these new-growth cities remains incredibly diverse.

The sweeping industrialization of emerging economies has shifted the center of gravity of the world economy east and south. Internal migration in those countries, from the farm and village to the city, is fueling astonishing growth. And it has happened at a speed never before seen in history. These developments are powering an explosive growth in demand, which compels us to reset our intuition. The megacities of these emerging economies—such as Shanghai, São Paulo, and Mumbai—are already on the radar of global companies. But the truly dramatic consumption growth will be in cities that most would find hard to locate on a map today, like Kumasi. SHIFTING ECONOMIC CENTER OF GRAVITY From the year 1 to 1500, the world’s center of economic gravity*—a measure of economic power by geography—straddled the border between China and India, the countries with the globe’s largest populations.

However, business leaders need to start seeing these new urban markets as opportunities rather than risks. This is not just a matter of semantics. There’s a big difference between the way resources and talent are mobilized to take advantage of an opportunity and protecting against risk. It’s the difference between playing offense and defense. Get to Know the Newcomers In the past, many large companies have done well by focusing on developed economies combined with the megacities of emerging economies. Today, that combination will gain them exposure to markets with 70 percent of the world’s GDP. But by 2025, this combination will generate only about one-third of global growth, which will not be sufficient for large companies trying to position themselves for growth.26 In contrast, between 2010 and 2025, 440 cities in developing nations will generate nearly half of global GDP growth.27 But only about 20 or so of these emerging-market dynamos are likely to be familiar names, such as Shanghai, Mumbai, Jakarta, São Paulo, or Lagos.


pages: 193 words: 51,445

On the Future: Prospects for Humanity by Martin J. Rees

23andMe, 3D printing, air freight, Alfred Russel Wallace, Asilomar, autonomous vehicles, Benoit Mandelbrot, blockchain, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic transition, distributed ledger, double helix, effective altruism, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, global village, Hyperloop, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John Conway, life extension, mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, quantitative hedge fund, Ray Kurzweil, Rodney Brooks, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart grid, speech recognition, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Stanislav Petrov, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, supervolcano, technological singularity, the scientific method, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Walter Mischel, Yogi Berra

Nonetheless, the world’s population is forecast to rise to around nine billion, or even higher, by 2050.5 This is because most people in the developing world are still young and have not had children, and because they will live longer; the age histogram for the developing world will come to look more like it does for Europe. The largest current growth is in East Asia, where the world’s human and financial resources will become concentrated—ending four centuries of North Atlantic hegemony. Demographers predict continuing urbanisation, with 70 percent of people living in cities by 2050. Even by 2030, Lagos, São Paulo, and Delhi will have populations greater than thirty million. Preventing megacities from becoming turbulent dystopias will be a major challenge to governance. Population growth is currently underdiscussed. This may be partly because doom-laden forecasts of mass starvation—in, for instance, Paul Ehrlich’s 1968 book The Population Bomb and the pronouncements of the Club of Rome—have proved off the mark. Also, some deem population growth to be a taboo subject—tainted by association with eugenics in the 1920s and ’30s, with Indian policies under Indira Gandhi, and more recently with China’s hard-line one-child policy.

The Sudanese tycoon Mo Ibrahim, whose company led the penetration of mobile phones into Africa, in 2007 set up a prize of $5 million (plus $200,000 a year thereafter) to recognise exemplary and noncorrupt leaders of African countries—and the Mo Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership has been awarded five times. The relevant actions aren’t necessarily best taken at the nation-state level. Some of course require multinational cooperation, but many effective reforms need implementation more locally. There are huge opportunities for enlightened cities to become pathfinders, spearheading the high-tech innovation that will be needed in the megacities of the developing world where the challenges are especially daunting. Short-termism isn’t just a feature of electoral politics. Private investors don’t have a long enough horizon either. Property developers won’t put up a new office building unless they get payback within (say) thirty years. Indeed, most high-rise buildings in cities have a ‘designed lifetime’ of only fifty years (a consolation for those of us who deplore their dominance of the skyline).

European villages in the mid-fourteenth century continued to function even when the Black Death almost halved their populations; the survivors were fatalistic about a massive death toll. In contrast, the feeling of entitlement is so strong in today’s wealthier countries that there would be a breakdown in the social order as soon as hospitals overflowed, key workers stayed at home, and health services were overwhelmed. This could occur when those infected were still a fraction of 1 percent. The fatality rate would, however, probably be highest in the megacities of the developing world. Pandemics are an ever-present natural threat, but is it just scaremongering to raise concerns about human-induced risks from bio error or bio terror? Sadly, I don’t think it is. We know all too well that technical expertise doesn’t guarantee balanced rationality. The global village will have its village idiots and they’ll have global range. The spread of an artificially released pathogen can’t be predicted or controlled; this realisation inhibits the use of bioweapons by governments, or even by terrorist groups with specific well-defined aims (which is why I focused on nuclear and cyber threats in section 1.2).


pages: 414 words: 101,285

The Butterfly Defect: How Globalization Creates Systemic Risks, and What to Do About It by Ian Goldin, Mike Mariathasan

"Robert Solow", air freight, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, bank run, barriers to entry, Basel III, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, butterfly effect, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, connected car, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, credit default swaps / collateralized debt obligations, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deglobalization, Deng Xiaoping, discovery of penicillin, diversification, diversified portfolio, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, energy security, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fellow of the Royal Society, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial intermediation, fixed income, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, global value chain, global village, income inequality, information asymmetry, Jean Tirole, John Snow's cholera map, Kenneth Rogoff, light touch regulation, Long Term Capital Management, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, moral hazard, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, open economy, profit maximization, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, regulatory arbitrage, reshoring, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, The Great Moderation, too big to fail, Toyota Production System, trade liberalization, transaction costs, uranium enrichment

Concentration By 2025 the fraction of the world’s population living in cities is expected to rise to 70 percent.14 With Tokyo’s population density as high as 5,847 persons per square kilometer and with 1 in 25 people already living in a megacity, it is inevitable that “new approaches for surveillance, preparedness, and response will be needed [to deal with pandemics].”15 This is important everywhere but especially in overcrowded or unhygienic conditions, where people live close to animals, and where water is easily contaminated. These incubators for the development and spread of infectious diseases are expected to grow particularly rapidly, because virtually all the growth in megacities will be occurring in developing countries over the coming decades and because many of them have shantytowns and other communities in which people are living in poor conditions.

The establishment of national, regional, or global capabilities in this regard is vital. The equivalent of special weapons and tactics (SWAT) teams with the medical and other capacity to mobilize rapidly (without lengthy authorization procedures) and engage anywhere in the world is vital. Such capacity is required for pandemics nationally and globally. Once a pathogen has skipped from the countryside to a megacity or from a megacity to a major airport, there is no bringing it back. Although the immediate response should be medical, the broader implications also need thinking through. For example, if the emergency requires the culling of all the poultry or pigs on which people depend for their livelihoods and nutrition, alternative mechanisms to support the population need to be put in place immediately, with the costs of this response to a potential global emergency underwritten by WHO or another global institution.

One noteworthy study estimates that the breakdown of biogeographic barriers and the introduction of invasive species cost the world in excess of $120 billion annually.51 This cost includes that of the rise of pathogens that directly affect the health of humans, livestock, and animals. The same study shows how the effects of globalization have enabled West Nile virus to flourish in regions that were previously immune due to their climates or remoteness. Yet it is essential to note that it is this same proximity that has led to the success of megacities like London, New York, Mumbai, and Shanghai. The challenge, which we explore in this book, is to ensure that proximity and connectivity can be sources of strength while we manage growing vulnerability due to the complexity and density of our connections. The second geographical risk, density risk, relates to the growing concentration of activities in solitary or a small number of world epicenters.


pages: 603 words: 182,781

Aerotropolis by John D. Kasarda, Greg Lindsay

3D printing, air freight, airline deregulation, airport security, Akira Okazaki, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, big-box store, blood diamonds, borderless world, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business cycle, call centre, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, cognitive dissonance, commoditize, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, Deng Xiaoping, deskilling, digital map, disruptive innovation, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, food miles, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frank Gehry, fudge factor, full employment, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, global supply chain, global village, gravity well, Haber-Bosch Process, Hernando de Soto, hive mind, if you build it, they will come, illegal immigration, inflight wifi, intangible asset, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, invention of the telephone, inventory management, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Joan Didion, Kangaroo Route, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, kremlinology, low cost airline, Marchetti’s constant, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, Menlo Park, microcredit, Network effects, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, Peter Calthorpe, Peter Thiel, pets.com, pink-collar, pre–internet, RFID, Richard Florida, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, savings glut, Seaside, Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, spinning jenny, starchitect, stem cell, Steve Jobs, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, telepresence, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Nature of the Firm, thinkpad, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, Tony Hsieh, trade route, transcontinental railway, transit-oriented development, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, white picket fence, Yogi Berra, zero-sum game

Nearly a third of all the magnetic recording heads at the heart of your hard drive and a sixth of all keyboards are made in the city of Dongguan, just up the road from Shenzhen. Twenty years ago, it was another fishing village; today it’s larger than Chicago. These instant megacities were inevitable. They didn’t have to happen here—they did because Deng and his successors willed them to—but they would have sprouted somewhere. The economics make too much sense. Research by the World Bank suggests the reason China’s megacities have grown so big, so fast is that the returns to scale have grown so massive. What has made this growth possible, the bank argued, is cheap transportation. The catalyst is the jet engine, “perhaps the most significant innovation in long-distance transport ever,” in the bank’s estimation.

His theory explains why we have aerotropoli, because “the space of flows is constituted by its nodes and hubs,” the places where the spectral becomes corporeal—where globalization is made flesh in the form of cities. Castells identifies a “new spatial form” emerging: the megacity. His textbook example is the Delta, which he tellingly diagrams with Hong Kong on the edge and Guangzhou at its core. The most striking thing about such cities is that they are “globally connected and locally disconnected.” The Delta may be the world’s factory, but nothing it makes is within reach of the peasants past its fringes, who are uprooting seventy generations of history to find their fortunes here. An estimated 140 million farmers have already left their homes, and the gap between rich and poor, urban and rural, is widening. China’s solution is to build megacities in its interior, like Chongqing, which is officially three times the size of New Jersey and equally dense.

Such massive inequality is the primary source of China’s unrest—an estimated eighty thousand protests each year in rural towns and villages, suppressed and kept (mostly) out of sight. Despite the size of its coastal megacities, China is less urbanized than its peers. Barely half its citizens live in one, far below the developed world’s 80 to 90 percent. The State Council expects another four hundred million peasants—the second wave in the largest migration in history—to move to cities in the next twenty years. In obeisance to Jiang’s edict to “Go West,” they are being herded away from the coast toward new megacities rising inland. The fear of this influx and the slums it might create underlies China’s resolve to export its way out of poverty. The flying geese are migrating again. It used to be that companies like Walmart or Intel outsourced to China; now they’re outsourcing within China, keeping their headquarters and R & D in the Delta while shipping the rest westward as new airports come online.


pages: 407 words: 121,458

Confessions of an Eco-Sinner: Tracking Down the Sources of My Stuff by Fred Pearce

additive manufacturing, air freight, Berlin Wall, blood diamonds, British Empire, car-free, carbon footprint, clean water, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, credit crunch, demographic transition, Fall of the Berlin Wall, food miles, ghettoisation, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Kibera, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, profit motive, race to the bottom, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, Steve Jobs, the built environment, urban planning, urban sprawl, women in the workforce

Singh put it to me as we toured the farms of northern Nigeria, ‘There is no reason why even Africa cannot feed itself.’ 33 Beyond the Clockwork Orange: Why We Can Green Our Cities A HUNDRED YEARS ago, the largest city in the world was London, with a population of 6.5 million. When I was born in 1951, the top dog was the world’s first mega-city, New York, which had just topped 10 million people. Today there are at least twenty cities above that figure, including three each in India and China. Each of these mega-cities contains more people than the entire population of the planet at the end of the last ice age. The new world urban leader, Tokyo, has mushroomed to 34 million people. From mid-2007, for the first time in history, most people will live in cities. And most of the world’s population growth is now happening in cities.

London has spread to create an urban region across south-east England that stretches west towards Reading and Oxford, north towards Cambridge, and now east along the Thames estuary. São Paulo is embracing a ‘golden urban triangle’ that includes Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte. The people of Mexico City have fled their congested and polluted mega-city to surrounding cities like Toluca and Cuernavaca. Kolkata has dispersed across west Bengal. Tokyo is extending out to Japan’s second mega-city, Osaka, creating a megalopolis of 70 million people, linked by bullet train. Shanghai is joining hands with Suzhou, Nanjing and Hangzhou, which will soon be just twenty-seven minutes away on a new maglev train with a top speed of more than 400 kilometres an hour. Will megalopolis encourage or destroy the dream of eco-cities?

Alchemy was the great science of the Middle Ages; Isaac Newton spent more time trying to turn base metal into gold than he did researching gravity and the laws of nature. Later, Europeans colonized the New World for gold, and spent decades searching for Eldorado. The gold rushes of California and Australia and South Africa and the Klondike globalized the world’s economy in the nineteenth century. Gold smuggling, more than oil, made the fabulous wealth behind the modern mega-city of Dubai. The Gold Standard was for a long time the guarantor of the world’s currencies; and every national treasury still keeps a store. A third of all the world’s gold is locked up in the vaults of various banks and private investment houses. There is Fort Knox, of course. And vaults beneath the Bank of England in the City of London store the bullion reserves of more than seventy countries – hundreds of times more gold than is contained in the Crown Jewels, on display close by in the Tower of London.


pages: 364 words: 102,225

Instant City: Life and Death in Karachi by Steve Inskeep

battle of ideas, British Empire, call centre, creative destruction, Edward Glaeser, European colonialism, illegal immigration, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Khyber Pass, Kibera, knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, urban planning, urban renewal

Today Tokyo is the largest urban area the world has ever seen, encompassing around 36 million people. (Metropolitan New York fell behind despite growing to nineteen million.) Tokyo is part of a complex of manufacturing and financial centers along the Pacific Rim—Los Angeles, San Jose, Seattle, Seoul, Shanghai, and Hong Kong, among others. Some are megacities, commonly described as urban areas of ten million or more. Lagos, São Paulo, and Mexico City are also megacities, and vast as they are, such giants do not encompass most of the world’s urban growth. Small cities and even small towns have exploded in size—half a million here, three million there. These smaller cities will encompass most of the world’s urban growth between now and the year 2030. In many cities, migration has brought disparate ethnic, racial, and religious groups into uneasy contact.

Numerous newspapers were for sale on the streets, and while the journalists made a pittance—the publisher of one notable paper, the Daily Times, went at least half a year without paying many reporters at all—they maintained a loud public debate. A few miles away, one of Karachi’s great philanthropists had even opened a horseracing track, with regular Sunday events and all betting creatively reconfigured so that it did not run afoul of Islam’s ban on gambling. Karachi was nothing like Tehran, another Muslim megacity, where many of the richest parts of the culture were samizdat—banned books smuggled in suitcases from outside, banned movies screened secretly in people’s apartments, banned messages shouted from rooftops under the protection of the dark. Much more of Karachi’s culture was still in the open. A few dozen cinemas remained in business. They were easily identified by giant billboards over the doors, typically showing a thirty-foot image of some Bollywood hero and the indescribably beautiful woman he loved.

Just as McCartt was building an entire upscale neighborhood on new land that was largely segregated from the rest of the city, many proposals in other cities seemed to focus less on improving an existing city than on starting fresh. Officials in Mumbai planned to demolish one of the city’s famous slums to make room for upscale towers. They were actually building an entire satellite city of the metropolis, called Navi Mumbai, or New Mumbai, which quickly grew to a population of two million. At Inchon, South Korea, the port for the megacity of Seoul, developers were planning a new city on a man-made island; an American firm was leading the project. Chinese officials brought in a Chilean planner attached to a London firm to help design a satellite city outside the absurdly growing metropolis of Shanghai. However, the global financial crisis was complicating or choking off such projects, including the forty-five towers planned by Emaar.


pages: 598 words: 140,612

Triumph of the City: How Our Greatest Invention Makes Us Richer, Smarter, Greener, Healthier, and Happier by Edward L. Glaeser

affirmative action, Andrei Shleifer, Berlin Wall, British Empire, Broken windows theory, carbon footprint, Celebration, Florida, clean water, congestion charging, declining real wages, desegregation, different worldview, diversified portfolio, Edward Glaeser, endowment effect, European colonialism, financial innovation, Frank Gehry, global village, Guggenheim Bilbao, haute cuisine, Home mortgage interest deduction, James Watt: steam engine, Jane Jacobs, job-hopping, John Snow's cholera map, Mahatma Gandhi, McMansion, megacity, mortgage debt, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, place-making, Ponzi scheme, Potemkin village, Ralph Waldo Emerson, rent control, RFID, Richard Florida, Rosa Parks, school vouchers, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, Steven Pinker, strikebreaker, Thales and the olive presses, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the new new thing, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, William Shockley: the traitorous eight, Works Progress Administration, young professional

The terrible prevalence of urban poverty seems to indict cities as places of inequality and deprivation. Many urban analysts see a great crisis in the problem of the megacity, which usually means the vast numbers of poor people living in Mumbai or Mexico City. It seems wise to many to limit the growth of these megacities, whose crowds and squalor doom millions to harsh, dead-end lives. In the developed world, cozy, homogeneous suburbs can appear far more egalitarian than the extraordinary urban gulfs that separate a Fifth Avenue billionaire from a ghetto child. But the preceding paragraph is filled with nonsense. The presence of poverty in cities from Rio to Rotterdam reflects urban strength, not weakness. Megacities are not too big. Limiting their growth would cause significantly more hardship than gain, and urban growth is a great way to reduce rural poverty.

Few readers of this book would want to spend a week, let alone a lifetime, in a favela. Yet urban poverty, despite its terrors, can offer a path toward prosperity both for the poor and for the nation as a whole. Brazil, China, and India are likely to become far wealthier over the next fifty years, and that wealth will be created in cities that are connected to the rest of the world, not in isolated rural areas. It is natural to see the very real problems of poorer megacities and think that the people should go back to their rural villages, but cities, not farms, will save the developing world. Many poor nations suffer from poor soil quality—that’s one reason why they’re poor—so it’s unlikely that they’ll ever be leaders in global agriculture. Improvements in agricultural productivity typically involve new technology that reduces the number of people working on farms.

Life in a rural village might be safer than life in a favela, but it is the safety of unending poverty for generations. The status quo in the world’s poorest places is terrible, which is why the urban roller coaster has so much to offer, especially because cities can transmit the knowledge countries need to take part in the global economy. The vast flow of migrants to cities certainly stresses urban infrastructure; that’s one of the familiar arguments against allowing the growth of megacities. But while an influx of new migrants worsens the quality of roads and water for a city’s longtime residents, the new arrivals go from having virtually no infrastructure to enjoying all the advantages that come from access to decent transport and utilities. It is wrong to keep the quality of urban infrastructure high by preventing people from enjoying that infrastructure. It’s more ethical—and more economically beneficial for the country as a whole—to invest more in urban infrastructure so more people can benefit from it.


pages: 421 words: 120,332

The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future by Laurence C. Smith

Bretton Woods, BRICs, business cycle, clean water, Climategate, colonial rule, deglobalization, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, energy security, flex fuel, G4S, global supply chain, Google Earth, guest worker program, Hans Island, hydrogen economy, ice-free Arctic, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invisible hand, land tenure, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, peak oil, Pearl River Delta, purchasing power parity, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, side project, Silicon Valley, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade liberalization, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, urban planning, Washington Consensus, Y2K

The projections may surprise you: World Megacities of Ten Million or More (population in millions) 1950 New York-Newark, USA (12.3) Tokyo, Japan (11.3) 1975 Tokyo, Japan (26.6) New York-Newark, USA (15.9) Mexico City, Mexico (10.7) 2007 Tokyo, Japan (35.7) New York-Newark, USA (19.0) Mexico City, Mexico (19.0) Mumbai, India (19.0) São Paulo, Brazil (18.8) Delhi, India (15.9) Shanghai, China (15.0) Kolkata (Calcutta), India (14.8) Dhaka, Bangladesh (13.5) Buenos Aires, Argentina (12.8) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, USA (12.5) Karachi, Pakistan (12.1) Al-Qahirah (Cairo), Egypt (11.9) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (11.7) Osaka-Kobe, Japan (11.3) Beijing, China (11.1) Manila, Philippines (11.1) Moskva (Moscow), Russia (10.5) Istanbul, Turkey (10.1) 2025 Tokyo, Japan (36.4) Mumbai, India (26.4) Delhi, India (22.5) Dhaka, Bangladesh (22.0) São Paulo, Brazil (21.4) Mexico City, Mexico (21.0) New York-Newark, USA (20.6) Kolkata (Calcutta), India (20.6) Shanghai, China (19.4) Karachi, Pakistan (19.1) Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (16.8) Lagos, Nigeria (15.8) Al-Qahirah (Cairo), Egypt (15.6) Manila, Philippines (14.8) Beijing, China (14.5) Buenos Aires, Argentina (13.8) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, USA (13.7) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (13.4) Jakarta, Indonesia (12.4) Istanbul, Turkey (12.1) Guangzhou, Guangdong, China (11.8) Osaka-Kobe, Japan (11.4) Moskva (Moscow), Russia (10.5) Lahore, Pakistan (10.5) Shenzhen, China (10.2) Chennai, India (10.1) Paris, France (10.0) The century of megacities has already begun. From just two in 1950 and three in 1975, we grew to nineteen by 2007 and expect to have twenty-seven by 2025. Furthermore, in sheer size alone our global urban culture is shifting east. Of the eight new megacities anticipated over the next fifteen years, six are in Asia, two in Africa, and just one in Europe. Zero new megacities are anticipated for the Americas. Instead, this massive urbanization is happening in some of our most populous countries: Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nigeria, and Pakistan. New York City was the world’s second-largest metropolis in 1977, when Liza Minnelli first sang the hit song “New York, New York” (later popularized by Frank Sinatra) to Robert De Niro in a Martin Scorsese movie.

When combined with its fast population growth rate, this means that Africa will triple the size of its cities over the next forty years.50 At 1.2 billion people, Africa will hold nearly a quarter of the world’s urban population.51 Tucked away in the back of a 2008 report by the United Nations Population Division are some stunning data tables.52 They rank our past, present, and future “megacities”—urban agglomerations with ten million inhabitants or more—for the years 1950, 1975, 2007, and 2025. The projections may surprise you: World Megacities of Ten Million or More (population in millions) 1950 New York-Newark, USA (12.3) Tokyo, Japan (11.3) 1975 Tokyo, Japan (26.6) New York-Newark, USA (15.9) Mexico City, Mexico (10.7) 2007 Tokyo, Japan (35.7) New York-Newark, USA (19.0) Mexico City, Mexico (19.0) Mumbai, India (19.0) São Paulo, Brazil (18.8) Delhi, India (15.9) Shanghai, China (15.0) Kolkata (Calcutta), India (14.8) Dhaka, Bangladesh (13.5) Buenos Aires, Argentina (12.8) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, USA (12.5) Karachi, Pakistan (12.1) Al-Qahirah (Cairo), Egypt (11.9) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (11.7) Osaka-Kobe, Japan (11.3) Beijing, China (11.1) Manila, Philippines (11.1) Moskva (Moscow), Russia (10.5) Istanbul, Turkey (10.1) 2025 Tokyo, Japan (36.4) Mumbai, India (26.4) Delhi, India (22.5) Dhaka, Bangladesh (22.0) São Paulo, Brazil (21.4) Mexico City, Mexico (21.0) New York-Newark, USA (20.6) Kolkata (Calcutta), India (20.6) Shanghai, China (19.4) Karachi, Pakistan (19.1) Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo (16.8) Lagos, Nigeria (15.8) Al-Qahirah (Cairo), Egypt (15.6) Manila, Philippines (14.8) Beijing, China (14.5) Buenos Aires, Argentina (13.8) Los Angeles-Long Beach-Santa Ana, USA (13.7) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (13.4) Jakarta, Indonesia (12.4) Istanbul, Turkey (12.1) Guangzhou, Guangdong, China (11.8) Osaka-Kobe, Japan (11.4) Moskva (Moscow), Russia (10.5) Lahore, Pakistan (10.5) Shenzhen, China (10.2) Chennai, India (10.1) Paris, France (10.0) The century of megacities has already begun.

New York City was the world’s second-largest metropolis in 1977, when Liza Minnelli first sang the hit song “New York, New York” (later popularized by Frank Sinatra) to Robert De Niro in a Martin Scorsese movie. By 2050, the “City That Never Sleeps” will be struggling just to stay in the top ten. The story doesn’t end with megacities. People are flocking to towns of all sizes, large and small. Indeed, some of the fastest growth is happening in urban centers with less than five hundred thousand people. According to the United Nations model, the number of “large” cities—those with populations between five and ten million—will increase from thirty in 2007 to forty-eight by 2025. Three-quarters of these will be in developing countries. By 2050 Asia—the world’s most populous continent and still dominated by farmers today—will be nearly as urbanized as Europe.53 What does all this mean for life in the countryside?


pages: 428 words: 134,832

Straphanger by Taras Grescoe

active transport: walking or cycling, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, airport security, Albert Einstein, big-box store, bike sharing scheme, Boris Johnson, British Empire, call centre, car-free, carbon footprint, City Beautiful movement, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, David Brooks, deindustrialization, East Village, edge city, Enrique Peñalosa, extreme commuting, financial deregulation, Frank Gehry, glass ceiling, Golden Gate Park, housing crisis, hydraulic fracturing, indoor plumbing, intermodal, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Joan Didion, Kickstarter, Kitchen Debate, laissez-faire capitalism, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, McMansion, megacity, mortgage tax deduction, Network effects, New Urbanism, obamacare, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Own Your Own Home, peak oil, pension reform, Peter Calthorpe, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sensible shoes, Silicon Valley, Skype, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transit-oriented development, union organizing, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, walkable city, white flight, working poor, young professional, Zipcar

I had come to Moscow, in part, to see what the traffic in a developing economy with rapidly rising car ownership looked like. In such megacities as Lagos and Bangkok, average traffic speeds have slowed to a walking pace; in São Paulo, where daily backups routinely reach 160 miles, the rich have taken to traveling by helicopter; and in Mumbai, motorists now have to budget three hours’ travel time to make it to crosstown appointments. (At the 2010 South Asian Games, India’s champions actually failed to appear at the closing ceremonies because they were stuck in traffic.) The view from a car window in the center lane of an expressway in Moscow, I quickly realized, is about the same as it is in Shanghai, Hyderabad, or Johannesburg: multiple lanes of cars, trucks, and vans, going nowhere, filled with pained passengers and even more aggravated-looking drivers. From megacity to megacity, only the smell of the exhaust and the makes of the vehicles seem to change.

So we were able to debate initiatives like the Spadina Expressway, which had huge implications for both the city and the region. People used to say Metro was the best form of municipal government in the world. I still believe they were right.” Despite Toronto-wide protests and two weeks of spirited filibustering by the opposition, the Harris government replaced Metro with a new “megacity.” Since 1998, this megacity has been represented by forty-four city councilors and made up of six previously separate municipalities, from Scarborough in the east to Etobicoke in the west. (All told, the Greater Toronto Area, which stretches from Oshawa to Burlington, is governed by a staggering 244 municipal office holders, including twenty-five mayors.) The impact has been felt hardest in the old city of Toronto, where city staff have been reduced, recreation programs dropped, and streets and parks left uncleaned.

The extensive deconcentration of the American people was the result of a set of circumstances that will not be duplicated elsewhere.” In 2008, a delegation from China, on a study tour of American subdivisions, visited the Del Webb development in the Phoenix suburb of Buckeye. Nobody in the local media recorded the officials’ impressions, but I hope they weren’t too positive. For if even a tiny fraction of the populations of the developing megacities of Asia, Africa, and Latin America pursue the suburban dream of a detached home for every family and a car in every garage, we’re in trouble. There just isn’t enough planet for any more Phoenixes. 4. The Salvation of Paris Paris, France On that 1st day of October, on the Champs-Elysées, I was assisting at the titanic reawakening of a completely new phenomenon, which three months of summer had calmed down a little—traffic.


pages: 304 words: 88,773

The Ghost Map: A Street, an Epidemic and the Hidden Power of Urban Networks. by Steven Johnson

call centre, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, Dean Kamen, digital map, double helix, edge city, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, John Nash: game theory, John Snow's cholera map, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, peak oil, side project, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, trade route, unbiased observer, working poor

One cannot be unduly optimistic about how these megacities will face their potential crises in the coming years. There may be new technologies that enable the squatter communities to concoct public health solutions on their own, but governments will obviously need to play a role as well. It took industrial London a hundred years to mature into a city with clean water and reliable sanitation. The scavenger classes that Mayhew analyzed with such detail no longer exist in London, but even the wealthiest cities in the developed world continue to face problems of homelessness and poverty, particularly in the United States. But the developed cities no longer appear to be on a collision course with themselves, the way London did in the nineteenth century. And so it may take the megacities of the developing world a century to reach that same sense of equilibrium, and during that period there will no doubt be episodes of large-scale human tragedy, including cholera outbreaks that will claim far more lives than were lost in Snow’s time.

It seemed entirely likely to many reasonable citizens of Victorian England—as well as to countless visitors from overseas—that a hundred years from now the whole project of maintaining cities of this scale would have proved a passing fancy. The monster would eat itself. Most of us don’t harbor doubts of this scale today, at least where cities are concerned. We worry about other matters: the epic shanty-towns of Third World megacities; the terror threats; the environmental impact of a planet industrializing at such a dramatic rate. But most of us accept without debate the long-term viability of human settlements with populations in the millions, or tens of millions. We know it can be done. We just haven’t figured out how to ensure that it is done well. And so, in projecting back to the mind-set of a Londoner in 1854, we have to remember this crucial reality: that a sort of existential doubt lingered over the city, a suspicion not that London was flawed, but that the very idea of building cities on the scale of London was a mistake, one that was soon to be corrected.

A strain of V. cholerae known as “El Tor” killed thousands in India and Bangladesh in the 1960s and 1970s. An outbreak in South America in the early 1990s infected more than a million people, killing at least ten thousand. In the summer of 2003, damage to the water-supply system from the Iraq War triggered an outbreak of cholera in Basra. There is a fearful symmetry to these trends. In many ways, the struggles of the developing world mirror the issues that confronted London in 1854. The megacities of the developing world are wrestling with the same problems of uncharted and potentially unsustainable growth that London faced 150 years ago. In 2015, the five largest cities on the planet will be Tokyo, Mumbai, Dhaka, São Paulo, and Delhi—all of them with populations above 20 million. The great preponderance of that growth will be driven by so-called squatter or shantytown developments—entire sprawling cities developed on illegally occupied land, without any traditional infrastructure or civic planning supporting their growth.


pages: 353 words: 91,211

The Shock of the Old: Technology and Global History Since 1900 by David Edgerton

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, British Empire, Computer Numeric Control, conceptual framework, creative destruction, deglobalization, dematerialisation, desegregation, deskilling, endogenous growth, global village, Haber-Bosch Process, interchangeable parts, knowledge economy, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, microcredit, new economy, post-industrial society, Productivity paradox, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, spinning jenny, Upton Sinclair, urban planning

By 1971 60 per cent of fertiliser production came from small plants; 50 per cent of cement; 16 per cent of hydro-generating capacity; overall around 10 per cent of Chinese factory output.28 Transport The idea that the technologies of the poor world simply lag behind those of the rich world in time is not generally applicable, as the case of the fabric of the poor megacity illustrates. Transport provides a second example, since the poor megacities had different transport patterns from those of the great rich cities of 1900, or even of 1930. These rich cities did not have the bicycle or motorcycle densities of the megacities of late twentieth-century Asia. Indeed bicycle and motor-bicycle production boomed in the world, particularly in the poor world, from the 1970s. For the first time in many decades bicycle production surged ahead of motor-car production. In recent years around 100 million bicycles were produced every year and only about 40 million cars.

Manned hypersonic aeroplanes disappeared in the 1960s. At the end of the twentieth century, nuclear power, once the technology of the future, was set to be phased out in many countries. And in medicine too, many treatments invented in the twentieth century were discontinued, lobotomy and ECT being prominent examples, though the last is still occasionally used. Not Alphaville but bidonville: technology and the poor megacity The story of the poor world (a term preferable to the euphemistic ‘developing world’, and the now irrelevant ‘Third World’) and technology is usually told as one of transfer, resistance, incompetence, lack of maintenance and enforced dependence on rich-world technology. Imperialism, colonialism and dependence were the key concepts, and the transfer of technology from rich to poor, the main process.

In recent years around 100 million bicycles were produced every year and only about 40 million cars. In 1950 there were around 10 million of each, and they remained about equal to 1970. The great change was the expansion in Chinese production to 40–50 million bicycles from a few million in the early 1970s.29 In addition Taiwan and India between them were, at the end of the century, making more bicycles than were produced in the world in 1950. Bicycle-derived technologies of the poor megacity provide an instance of a creole technology. In 2003 it was reported that the city of Calcutta was still trying to get rid of the hand-pulled rickshaw, long gone from most of the rest of Asia. These rickshaws were deemed old-fashioned even by the standards of hand-rickshaws: Calcutta’s had spoked wheels, but not ones derived from bicycle technology; they were made of wood and were rimmed with solid rubber rather than pneumatic tyres.


pages: 219 words: 63,495

50 Future Ideas You Really Need to Know by Richard Watson

23andMe, 3D printing, access to a mobile phone, Albert Einstein, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, BRICs, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, computer age, computer vision, crowdsourcing, dark matter, dematerialisation, digital Maoism, digital map, Elon Musk, energy security, failed state, future of work, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, happiness index / gross national happiness, hive mind, hydrogen economy, Internet of things, Jaron Lanier, life extension, Mark Shuttleworth, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, pattern recognition, peak oil, personalized medicine, phenotype, precision agriculture, profit maximization, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Florida, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, semantic web, Skype, smart cities, smart meter, smart transportation, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, strong AI, Stuxnet, supervolcano, telepresence, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, Turing test, urban decay, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, web application, women in the workforce, working-age population, young professional

But a far larger force is what’s happening in Asia and Africa, where both cities, and their brethren, megacities, are being built and rebuilt. A very old idea The oldest company in the world is around 700 years old. The oldest university is about 1,000 years old and the oldest living religion is around 3,500 years old. In contrast, the oldest cities include Jerusalem (5,000) and Jericho (10,500). The reason for this longevity is flexibility. Cities are constantly being knocked down and rebuilt (by about 2 percent per year) and people are always coming and going, refreshing their energy and creativity. Cities such as London, New York and Tokyo aren’t going away. Indeed, they are now being remade and recast as city-states that are economically and culturally ahead of many countries. Growth of the megacity In 1975, there were just three global megacities: New York, Mexico City and Tokyo.

While it could be argued that this is part of the problem, in terms of emissions, cities, especially megacities in developing regions—which are being built, or redesigned, from the ground up—also provide a potential solution because they afford opportunities to make housing, transport and infrastructure much more efficient and sustainable. the condensed idea Radically reengineering the planet timeline 2019 Nobel Prize awarded for a geo-solution to climate change 2021 World’s first large-scale ocean fertilization trial begins 2025 Carbon capture technologies widely adopted 2027 Large areas of Venice, Miami and Dhaka abandoned due to flooding 2030 Creation of artificial forests to scrub carbon from the air 2040 Development of cloud whitening above the world’s oceans 2050 The global space mirror project abandoned due to cost 11 Megacities In 1800 about 3 percent of the world’s population was urban.

ISBN 978-1-62365-195-4 Distributed in the United States and Canada by Random House Publisher Services c/o Random House, 1745 Broadway New York, NY 10019 www.quercus.com Contents Introduction POLITICS & POWER 01 Ubiquitous surveillance 02 Digital democracy 03 Cyber & drone warfare 04 Water wars 05 Wane of the West ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT 06 Resource depletion 07 Beyond fossil fuels 08 Precision agriculture 09 Population change 10 Geo-engineering THE URBAN LANDSCAPE 11 Megacities 12 Local energy networks 13 Smart cities 14 Next-generation transport 15 Extra-legal & feral slums TECHNOLOGICAL CHANGE 16 An internet of things 17 Quantum & DNA computing 18 Nanotechnology 19 Gamification 20 Artificial Intelligence HEALTH & WELL-BEING 21 Personalized genomics 22 Regenerative medicine 23 Remote monitoring 24 User-generated medicine 25 Medical data mining SOCIAL & ECONOMIC DIMENSIONS 26 Living alone 27 Dematerialization 28 Income polarization 29 What (& where) is work?


pages: 243 words: 65,374

How We Got to Now: Six Innovations That Made the Modern World by Steven Johnson

A. Roger Ekirch, Ada Lovelace, big-box store, British Empire, butterfly effect, clean water, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Danny Hillis, germ theory of disease, Hans Lippershey, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, indoor plumbing, interchangeable parts, invention of air conditioning, invention of the printing press, invention of the telescope, inventory management, Jacquard loom, John Snow's cholera map, Kevin Kelly, Live Aid, lone genius, Louis Pasteur, low earth orbit, Marshall McLuhan, mass immigration, megacity, Menlo Park, Murano, Venice glass, planetary scale, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, the scientific method, transcontinental railway, Upton Sinclair, walkable city, women in the workforce

But the rise of the Sun Belt in the United States was just a dress rehearsal for what is now happening on a planetary scale. All around the world, the fastest growing megacities are predominantly in tropical climates: Chennai, Bangkok, Manila, Jakarta, Karachi, Lagos, Dubai, Rio de Janeiro. Demographers predict that these hot cities will have more than a billion new residents by 2025. It goes without saying that many of these new immigrants don’t have air-conditioning in their homes, at least not yet, and it is an open question whether these cities are sustainable in the long run, particularly those based in desert climates. But the ability to control temperature and humidity in office buildings, stores, and wealthier homes allowed these urban centers to attract an economic base that has catapulted them to megacity status. It’s no accident that the world’s largest cities—London, Paris, New York, Tokyo—were almost exclusively in temperate climates until the second half of the twentieth century.

We rarely think about it, but the growth and vitality of cities have always been dependent on our ability to manage the flow of human waste that emerges when people crowd together. From the very beginnings of human settlements, figuring out where to put all the excrement has been just as important as figuring out how to build shelter or town squares or marketplaces. The problem is particularly acute in cities experiencing runaway growth, as we see today in the favelas and shantytowns of megacities. Nineteenth-century Chicago, of course, had both human and animal waste to deal with, the horses in the streets, the pigs and cattle awaiting slaughter in the stockyards. (“The river is positively red with blood under the Rush Street Bridge and past down our factory,” one industrialist wrote. “What pestilence may result from it I don’t know.”) The effects of all this filth were not just offensive to the senses; they were deadly.

But solving the problems of clean drinking water and reliable waste removal changed all of that. A hundred and fifty years after Ellis Chesbrough first took his grand tour of European sewage, cities such as London and New York were approaching ten million residents, with life expectancies and infectious disease rates that were far lower than their Victorian antecedents. Of course, the problem now is not cities of two million or ten million; it’s megacities such as Mumbai or São Paulo that will soon embrace thirty million human beings or more, many of them living in improvised communities—shantytowns, favelas—that are closer to the Chicago that Chesbrough had to raise than a contemporary city in the developed world. If you look only at today’s Chicago or London, the story of the past century and a half seems to be one of incontrovertible progress: the water is cleaner; the mortality rates are much lower; epidemic disease is effectively nonexistent.


pages: 578 words: 168,350

Scale: The Universal Laws of Growth, Innovation, Sustainability, and the Pace of Life in Organisms, Cities, Economies, and Companies by Geoffrey West

Alfred Russel Wallace, Anton Chekhov, Benoit Mandelbrot, Black Swan, British Empire, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, clean water, complexity theory, computer age, conceptual framework, continuous integration, corporate social responsibility, correlation does not imply causation, creative destruction, dark matter, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Ernest Rutherford, first square of the chessboard, first square of the chessboard / second half of the chessboard, Frank Gehry, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, Guggenheim Bilbao, housing crisis, Index librorum prohibitorum, invention of agriculture, invention of the telephone, Isaac Newton, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, John von Neumann, Kenneth Arrow, laissez-faire capitalism, life extension, Mahatma Gandhi, mandelbrot fractal, Marchetti’s constant, Masdar, megacity, Murano, Venice glass, Murray Gell-Mann, New Urbanism, Peter Thiel, profit motive, publish or perish, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, technological singularity, The Coming Technological Singularity, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the scientific method, too big to fail, transaction costs, urban planning, urban renewal, Vernor Vinge, Vilfredo Pareto, Von Neumann architecture, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, wikimedia commons, working poor

To accommodate the continued exponential increase, new cities and urban developments are being built at a truly astonishing rate. China alone will be constructing two to three hundred new cities over the next twenty years, many with populations of over a million, while megacities that already dominate the developing world continue to expand, many of them spawning slums and informal settlements as more and more people flock to cities. As I remarked earlier, megacities of the past such as London and New York suffered from much the same negative image associated with megacities of today. Nevertheless, they developed into major economic engines offering huge opportunities and driving the world’s economy. Here’s the problem: cities do indeed evolve, but they take many decades to change and we simply no longer have the time to wait.

It was the world’s first industrial city and grew by a factor of six from a population of little more than 20,000 in 1771 to 120,000 in 1831, and to more than two million by the end of the nineteenth century nearly seventy years later. The evolution of Manchester provided the template that has been repeated innumerable times across the globe right up to the present day, from Düsseldorf and Pittsburgh to Shenzhen and São Paulo. Looking back on megacities of the past such as London or New York, we recognize that they suffered from much the same negative image often associated with megacities of today, such as Mexico City, Nairobi, or Calcutta. This is how Manchester’s textile workers were described 150 years ago: “the notorious fact is that well constitutioned men are rendered old and past labour at forty years of age, and that children are rendered decrepit and deformed, and thousands upon thousands of them slaughtered by consumptions [tuberculosis], before they arrive at the age of sixteen.”

Nevertheless, despite the shameless exploitation and terrible dehumanizing living and working conditions, these cities became highly mobile, rapidly evolving diverse societies, offering huge opportunities that ultimately resulted in many of them becoming drivers of the world’s economy. Much the same could be speculated about megacities emerging today in Africa, Asia, and other parts of the world. To quote the American architect and urban planner Andrés Duany: “In 1860, the capital city of Washington, with a population of 60,000, had unlighted streets, open sewers, and pigs roaming about its principal avenues. This condition was worse than the worst of our current cities. There is hope.” I cannot resist inserting a small personal note when writing about the rise of Victorian megacities and the plight of the “working poor.” Although I was born in a rural area of England, the county of Somerset, I have family roots in the East End of London and by a strange twist of fate ended up attending the last several years of my high school there.


pages: 340 words: 91,387

Stealth of Nations by Robert Neuwirth

accounting loophole / creative accounting, big-box store, British Empire, call centre, collective bargaining, corporate governance, full employment, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Johannes Kepler, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, megacity, microcredit, New Urbanism, Pepto Bismol, pirate software, profit motive, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Simon Kuznets, special economic zone, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, thinkpad, upwardly mobile, Vilfredo Pareto, yellow journalism

Perhaps the only people who had the good sense to ignore the term “informal” were the very ones whose lives it purported to describe. Few of the merchants who operate on the roadsides or in the chaotic marketplaces of the developing world have any idea what the informal economy is. I found this out the hard way. My first foray into the world of unlicensed trade was a trip to Lagos, Nigeria. I spent my first few days in the African megacity walking up to merchants in the city’s street markets, introducing myself, and telling them I was writing a book on the informal economy. Without exception, they gawked at me and refused to talk. My words seemed to fill them with terror. Na so trouble plenty. Fortunately, I was working with two locals who were helping me navigate the chaotic and cramped markets of the city. Olayemi Adesanya and his younger brother Taye simply translated my words into English the people in the market would understand.

(this last, which always made me laugh, was a line from a television commercial for a popular orange drink)—and attentive to the local mores of kibitzing. Trade may make Lagos seem frenzied and disorganized, it may sometimes appear aggressive and threatening, but trade built the city and continues to define its culture. Spend enough time there and you come to realize that it is exactly this—the irrepressible hubbub, the hyperentrepreneurial give-and-take, the ceaseless frenzy of talk and exchange—that holds the city together. Lagos is the first megacity in sub-Saharan Africa, and it may well be the first city in the world to be designed, in large part, by System D. According to local officials, 80 percent of the working people in Lagos are in System D. Nationwide, their economic efforts account for a mass of trade and exchange that is worth as much as 70 percent of Nigeria’s gross domestic product—or approximately $145 billion. In itself, this is nothing new.

The owners don’t want to spend because they want the money for their pockets, and the drivers and conductors have no incentive to repair the vehicles because they get less money if the van is off the road while being fixed. The VW, Dodge, Chevy, and Nissan vans that ply the streets, most of them painted school-bus yellow and tricked out with home-welded bench seats, are so banged-up and rusted—or, as they say in Nigeria in a puff of honest doublespeak, “fairly used”—that it seems doubtful that they could go anywhere, particularly on the crowded, cratered roads of the sub-Saharan megacity. The passenger compartments of some of the older danfo and molue are connected to the chassis only with baling wire. What repairs they do get are just enough to push them forward for another day of life. It’s not unusual for a bus to literally come apart—the universal joint breaking, wheel bearings dropping out, the exhaust system flopping to the roadbed in a cloud of black soot, a hose springing loose and spraying strange messages in steam—while passengers are still inside.


pages: 288 words: 76,343

The Plundered Planet: Why We Must--And How We Can--Manage Nature for Global Prosperity by Paul Collier

agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, business climate, Doha Development Round, energy security, food miles, G4S, information asymmetry, Kenneth Arrow, megacity, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shock, profit maximization, rent-seeking, Ronald Coase, Scramble for Africa, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, Stewart Brand

Someone working in a city of 10 million is on average going to be 40 percent more productive than someone working in a city of 100,000—and most Africans currently live in places that are much smaller than that. The experience of China is so extraordinary that it might have no relevance for Africa: China’s sheer size enables megacities to have large hinterlands but the same pattern is found in India. Africa needs more megacities. Tony Venables and I compared Africa’s urbanization with that of India and found that Africa is missing out on productivity because it lacks cities like Mumbai. Lagos is Africa’s best chance of a productive megacity. If Nigeria’s economic future lies in Lagos, and if that future could arrive within a generation—so long as the Nigerian government harnesses the nation’s oil revenues—it is not difficult to work out where much of the public investment financed by oil should be located.

Within a generation, Lagos, already the largest city in sub-Saharan Africa, will become a global megacity of over 20 million people. Already, it represents half of the entire non-oil economy of Nigeria, so that in the future, as oil runs down and is replaced by a new economy, most of it will be in Lagos and its environs. Lagos has two key advantages. One is that it is a port, and ports are key sites for global manufacturing. Not only does it help to be a port, it helps even more to be a large port. The larger the city is, the more productive the people in it. The rule of thumb is that each time a city doubles in population, the productivity of its workers increases by around 6 percent. That might not sound a lot but if people move from hamlets to megacities the cumulative consequences can be substantial. Someone working in a city of 10 million is on average going to be 40 percent more productive than someone working in a city of 100,000—and most Africans currently live in places that are much smaller than that.

Yet a return to antiquated technologies simply cannot feed a prospective population of nine billion. Cheap food is going to be increasingly important because the poor will increasingly be unable to grow their own. As populations grow and the Southern climate deteriorates due to global warming, the South will necessarily urbanize. The future populations will live not on quaint little farms but in the slums of coastal megacities. They will not grow their food but buy it, and they will buy it at world prices. The only way it will be affordable is if it is produced in abundance. The technical challenges to producing reliably cheap food are surmountable but political opposition will be intense. Feeding the world will involve three politically difficult steps. Contrary to the romantics, we need more commercial agriculture, not less.


pages: 464 words: 127,283

Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia by Anthony M. Townsend

1960s counterculture, 4chan, A Pattern Language, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Apple II, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Burning Man, business process, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, chief data officer, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, computer age, congestion charging, connected car, crack epidemic, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, data acquisition, Deng Xiaoping, digital map, Donald Davies, East Village, Edward Glaeser, game design, garden city movement, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, George Gilder, ghettoisation, global supply chain, Grace Hopper, Haight Ashbury, Hedy Lamarr / George Antheil, hive mind, Howard Rheingold, interchangeable parts, Internet Archive, Internet of things, Jacquard loom, Jane Jacobs, jitney, John Snow's cholera map, Joi Ito, Khan Academy, Kibera, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, mobile money, mutually assured destruction, new economy, New Urbanism, Norbert Wiener, Occupy movement, off grid, openstreetmap, packet switching, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, Parag Khanna, patent troll, Pearl River Delta, place-making, planetary scale, popular electronics, RFC: Request For Comment, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, social software, social web, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, Stuxnet, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Ted Kaczynski, telepresence, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, too big to fail, trade route, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, undersea cable, Upton Sinclair, uranium enrichment, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, Vannevar Bush, working poor, working-age population, X Prize, Y2K, zero day, Zipcar

In my own pocket, I carry an iPhone. It is my megacity survival kit, a digital Swiss Army knife that helps me search, navigate, communicate, and coordinate with everyone and everything around me. I have apps for finding restaurants, taxis, and my friends. A networked calendar keeps me in sync with my colleagues and my family. If I’m running late, there are three different ways to send a message and buy some time. But I’m not alone. We’ve all become digital telepaths, hooked on the rush we get as these devices untether us from the tyranny of clocks, fixed schedules, and prearranged meeting points. The addiction started, as all do, slowly at first. But now it governs the metabolism of our urban lives. With our days and nights increasingly stretched across the vastness of megacities, we’ve turned to these smart little gadgets to keep it all synchronized.

Yet as timeless as urban sociability is, we are experiencing it on a new scale. From the hubs of communication and exchange that sprang up in the markets, palaces, and temples of ancient cities, the size of human settlements has grown, and grown, and grown. Today, the largest megacities tie together tens of millions of people who have come together to work and play in countless groupings. New technologies like Meetup (and Foursquare) are vital to helping people navigate the vast sea of opportunities for social interaction that are available in the modern megacity. We focus on the physical aspects of cities because they are the most tangible. But telecommunications networks let us see, increasingly in real time, the vital social processes of cities. As much as they enable urban sociability, they are an indispensable tool for studying this ephemeral layer of the city as well.

The site itself is deeply symbolic. Viewed from the sky, its street grid forms an arrow aimed straight at the heart of coastal China. It is a kind of neoliberal feng shui diagram, drawing energy from the rapidly urbanizing nation just over the western horizon. Massive in its own right, Songdo is merely a test bed for the technology and business models that will underpin the construction of pop-up megacities across Asia. It is the birth of what Michael Joroff of MIT describes as a “new city-building industry,” novel partnerships between real estate developers, institutional investors, national governments, and the information technology industry. This ambition to become the archetype for Asia’s hundreds of new towns is why scale matters so much for Songdo. Begun in 2004 and scheduled for completion in 2015, it is the largest private real estate project in history at some $35 billion.


pages: 903 words: 235,753

The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty by Benjamin H. Bratton

1960s counterculture, 3D printing, 4chan, Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, airport security, Alan Turing: On Computable Numbers, with an Application to the Entscheidungsproblem, algorithmic trading, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, call centre, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, Cass Sunstein, Celebration, Florida, charter city, clean water, cloud computing, connected car, corporate governance, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Graeber, deglobalization, dematerialisation, disintermediation, distributed generation, don't be evil, Douglas Engelbart, Douglas Engelbart, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Eratosthenes, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, facts on the ground, Flash crash, Frank Gehry, Frederick Winslow Taylor, future of work, Georg Cantor, gig economy, global supply chain, Google Earth, Google Glasses, Guggenheim Bilbao, High speed trading, Hyperloop, illegal immigration, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invisible hand, Jacob Appelbaum, Jaron Lanier, Joan Didion, John Markoff, Joi Ito, Jony Ive, Julian Assange, Khan Academy, liberal capitalism, lifelogging, linked data, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Marshall McLuhan, Masdar, McMansion, means of production, megacity, megastructure, Menlo Park, Minecraft, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Monroe Doctrine, Network effects, new economy, offshore financial centre, oil shale / tar sands, packet switching, PageRank, pattern recognition, peak oil, peer-to-peer, performance metric, personalized medicine, Peter Eisenman, Peter Thiel, phenotype, Philip Mirowski, Pierre-Simon Laplace, place-making, planetary scale, RAND corporation, recommendation engine, reserve currency, RFID, Robert Bork, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, semantic web, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley ideology, Slavoj Žižek, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, social graph, software studies, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Startup school, statistical arbitrage, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, Stuxnet, Superbowl ad, supply-chain management, supply-chain management software, TaskRabbit, the built environment, The Chicago School, the scientific method, Torches of Freedom, transaction costs, Turing complete, Turing machine, Turing test, undersea cable, universal basic income, urban planning, Vernor Vinge, Washington Consensus, web application, Westphalian system, WikiLeaks, working poor, Y Combinator

In doing so, the chapters pull on threads from different intellectual fabrics and knit them together by following their crisscrossing patterns. These lead from the long-foretold and longer-postponed eclipse of the nation-state to the ascendance of political theology as an existential transnationalism, from the billowing depths of cloud computing and ubiquitous addressability to the logistical modernity of the endlessly itinerant object, and from the return of the city-state in the guise of a multipolar network of megacities and walled megagardens to the permanent emergency of ecological collapse and back again. My conclusions are speculative and meant to inform and support further design of these systems. Like any other good theoretical design research, it handles slippery problems in ways that are provisional, prototypical, and provocative—not necessarily policy (yet). The story arc begins by tracing the political division of earthly territories—land, sea, and air among them.

In the emergence of The Stack, it is not that the state declines per se, but that our contemporary condition is qualified both by a debordering perforation and liquefaction of this system's ability to maintain a monopoly on political geography, and by an overbordering, manifest as an unaccountable proliferation of new lines, endogenous frames, anomalous segments, medieval returns, infomatic interiors, ecological externalities, megacity states, and more. These zones fold and flip-flop on top of one another, interweaving into abstract and violent spatial machines of uncanny jurisdictional intricacy. Borderlines are militarized as they are also punctured or ignored. However, the simultaneity of all this is only contradictory at first blush. Debordering and overbordering both testify to the crisis of the Westphalian geographic design, and indeed of the force of law that would predicate the state's ability to convene and constitute sovereignty only in relation to that particular image.

The Stack discussed in the following chapters is a vast software/hardware formation, a proto-megastructure built of crisscrossed oceans, layered concrete and fiber optics, urban metal and fleshy fingers, abstract identities and the fortified skins of oversubscribed national sovereignty. It is a machine literally circumscribing the planet, which not only pierces and distorts Westphalian models of state territory but also produces new spaces in its own image: clouds, networks, zones, social graphs, ecologies, megacities, formal and informal violence, weird theologies, all superimposed one on the other. This aggregate machine becomes a systematic technology according to the properties and limitations of that very spatial order. The layers of The Stack, some continental in scale and others microscopic, work in specific relation to the layer above and below it. As I have suggested, the fragile complementarity between the layers composing The Stack is discussed both as an idealized model for how platforms may be designed and as a description of some of the ways that they already work now.


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The Future Is Faster Than You Think: How Converging Technologies Are Transforming Business, Industries, and Our Lives by Peter H. Diamandis, Steven Kotler

Ada Lovelace, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Mechanical Turk, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, blood diamonds, Burning Man, call centre, cashless society, Charles Lindbergh, Clayton Christensen, clean water, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, computer vision, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dean Kamen, delayed gratification, dematerialisation, digital twin, disruptive innovation, Edward Glaeser, Edward Lloyd's coffeehouse, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, experimental economics, food miles, game design, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, gig economy, Google X / Alphabet X, gravity well, hive mind, housing crisis, Hyperloop, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invention of the telegraph, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, late fees, Law of Accelerating Returns, life extension, lifelogging, loss aversion, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mary Lou Jepsen, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microbiome, mobile money, multiplanetary species, Narrative Science, natural language processing, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, out of africa, packet switching, peer-to-peer lending, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, QR code, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, Richard Feynman, Richard Florida, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart contracts, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, supercomputer in your pocket, supply-chain management, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, unbanked and underbanked, underbanked, urban planning, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, X Prize

The rest of the world wasn’t far behind. Over the past fifty years, in low- to medium-income countries, urbanization has doubled, sometimes tripled—think Nigeria and Kenya. By 2007, the globe had crossed a radical threshold: Half of us now lived in cities. Along the way, we got cities on steroids. In 1950, only New York and Tokyo housed 10 million residents, which is the figure required for “mega-city” status. By 2000, there were over eighteen mega-cities. Today, it’s thirty-three. Tomorrow? Tomorrow is when the numbers go crazy. In fact, we have a new word for the crazy, a “hyper-city,” a locale with a population above 20 million. By comparison, during the French Revolution, the world’s entire urban population was less than 20 million. By 2025, Asia alone will house ten, maybe eleven hyper-cities. And we’re going to need ’em.

See: https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/aug/18/mass-migration-crisis-refugees-climate-change. the 1947 partitioning of India and Pakistan: “History’s Greatest Migration,” Guardian, September 25, 1947. See: https://www.theguardian.com/century/1940-1949/Story/0,,105131,00.html. See also: https://www.unhcr.org/3ebf9bab0.pdf. Tokyo is the largest mega-city on Earth: Alexandre Tanzi and Wei Lu,“Tokyo’s Reign as World’s Largest City Fades,” Bloomberg, July 13, 2018. See: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-07-13/tokyo-s-reign-as-world-s-largest-city-fades-demographic-trends. See also: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megacity. Urban Relocations Three hundred years ago: UN Population Division, World Urbanization Prospects, the 2001 Revision (New York, 2002). 11 million Americans: David Kennedy and Lizabeth Cohen, The American Pageant: A History of the American People, 15th (AP) edition (Cengage Learning, 2013), pp. 539–540.

Climate Central’s prognosis isn’t good: “Carbon emissions causing 4 degrees C of warming—what business-as-usual points toward today—could lock in enough sea level rise to submerge land currently home to 470 to 760 million people.” To figure out what this level of displacement actually looks like, Climate Central also made a series of maps depicting the effects of global warming on every coastal nation and mega-city on the planet. Unless you’re a fish, the news is not good. With four degrees warming, in many of the world’s mega-cities—London, Hong Kong, Rio, Mumbai, Shanghai, Jakarta, Calcutta, etc.—swimming becomes the fastest way to get from point A to point B. Entire island nations vanish forever. In America, twenty million people end up underwater. In Washington, DC, sea levels reach the Pentagon. And if you thought real estate in New York was expensive today, just wait until everything south of Wall Street disappears.


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The Uninhabitable Earth: Life After Warming by David Wallace-Wells

"Robert Solow", agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, anthropic principle, Asian financial crisis, augmented reality, basic income, Berlin Wall, bitcoin, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, carbon-based life, cognitive bias, computer age, correlation does not imply causation, cryptocurrency, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, Donald Trump, effective altruism, Elon Musk, endowment effect, energy transition, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, failed state, fiat currency, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, Joan Didion, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, labor-force participation, life extension, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, mass immigration, megacity, megastructure, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, nuclear winter, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, postindustrial economy, quantitative easing, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sam Altman, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, South Sea Bubble, Steven Pinker, Stewart Brand, the built environment, the scientific method, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, universal basic income, University of East Anglia, Whole Earth Catalog, William Langewiesche, Y Combinator

Between just 2006 and 2013, the Philippines: Food and Agriculture Organization, “The Impact of Disasters on Agriculture and Food Security” (Rome, 2015), p. xix, https://reliefweb.int/sites/reliefweb.int/files/resources/a-i5128e.pdf. typhoons have intensified: Wei Mei and Shang-Ping Xie, “Intensification of Landfalling Typhoons over the Northwest Pacific Since the Late 1970s,” Nature Geoscience 9 (September 2016): pp. 753–57, https://doi.org/10.1038/NGEO2792. By 2070, Asian megacities: Linda Poon, “Climate Change Is Testing Asia’s Megacities,” CityLab, October 9, 2018, www.citylab.com/environment/2018/10/asian-megacities-vs-tomorrows-typhoons/572062. the more intense the blizzards: Judah Cohen et al., “Warm Arctic Episodes Linked with Increased Frequency of Extreme Winter Weather in the United States,” Nature Communications 9, no. 869 (March 2018): https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-02992-9. 758 tornadoes: NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, “State of the Climate: Tornadoes for April 2011,” May 2011, www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/tornadoes/201104. 40 percent by 2010: Noah S.

., “Flood Damage Costs Under the Sea Level Rise with Warming of 1.5 °C and 2 °C,” Environmental Research Letters 13, no. 7 (July 2018), https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/aacc76. continue for millennia: Andrea Dutton et al., “Sea-Level Rise Due to Polar Ice-Sheet Mass Loss During Past Warm Periods,” Science 349, no. 6244 (July 2015), https://doi.org/10.1126/science.aaa4019. two-degree scenario: “Surging Seas,” Climate Central. about 444,000 square miles: Benjamin Strauss, “Coastal Nations, Megacities Face 20 Feet of Sea Rise,” Climate Central, July 9, 2015, www.climatecentral.org/news/nations-megacities-face-20-feet-of-sea-level-rise-19217. the twenty cities most affected: Ibid. flooding has quadrupled since 1980: European Academies’ Science Advisory Council, “New Data Confirm Increased Frequency of Extreme Weather Events, European National Science Academies Urge Further Action on Climate Change Adaptation,” March 21, 2018, https://easac.eu/press-releases/details/new-data-confirm-increased-frequency-of-extreme-weather-events-european-national-science-academies.

Looking globally, researchers have found an increase of 25 to 30 percent in Category 4 and 5 hurricanes for just one degree Celsius of global warming. Between just 2006 and 2013, the Philippines were hit by seventy-five natural disasters; over the last four decades in Asia, typhoons have intensified by between 12 and 15 percent, and the proportion of Category 4 and 5 storms has doubled; in some areas, it has tripled. By 2070, Asian megacities could lose as much as $35 trillion in assets due to storms, up from just $3 trillion in 2005. We are so far from investing in adequate defenses against these storms that we are still building out into their paths—as though we are homesteaders staking claim to land cleared each summer by tornadoes, committing ourselves blindly to generations being punished by natural disaster. In fact, it is worse than that, since paving over stretches of vulnerable coast, as we’ve done most conspicuously in Houston and New Orleans, stops up natural drainage systems with concrete that extends each epic flood.


World Cities and Nation States by Greg Clark, Tim Moonen

active transport: walking or cycling, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, business climate, cleantech, congestion charging, corporate governance, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, financial independence, financial intermediation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, global supply chain, global value chain, high net worth, housing crisis, immigration reform, income inequality, informal economy, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Norman Mailer, open economy, Pearl River Delta, rent control, Richard Florida, Silicon Valley, smart cities, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, supply-chain management, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transaction costs, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, War on Poverty, zero-sum game

In many cases, it is the states and provinces themselves which are unitary and have the authority to amalgamate or empower local municipalities. Different federal systems organise distinctive powers and responsibilities in governmental tiers, and so the relationship between the world cities and the national governments varies among the four systems outlined in this section. Chapter 7 turns to India to explore the challenges of Mumbai, as a megacity and national financial hub, in negotiating support and reform from above. Mumbai is an example of a world city whose higher tier of government has failed to create the institutions or the planning and co‐ordination mechanisms required to govern the metropolitan space. This chapter describes the mixed effects of past reforms and investments and explains how the Government of India policy has not created the conditions for the state government to overcome short‐term political imperatives and act in the long‐term interest of its major city.

The capital hosts an overwhelming share of Korea’s foreign embassies, foreign consulates, stock brokerages, foreign bank offices, global media outlets and satellite networks. It even dominates in terms of international hotels, trading and telecommunications firms. Unsurprisingly, a clear majority of Korea’s senior executives, researchers and innovators also operate in the city (Hill and Kim, 2000). In the space of just 75 years, Seoul grew from a city of one million people to a megacity of more than 10 million, and its economic structure transformed from a rural, agrarian system to a labour‐intensive export hub, and then to an advanced industrial and post‐industrial economy. The authoritarian regime of Bak Jeong‐hee (1961–1979) introduced Gukgajohabjuui – ‘state corporatism’ – a process of explicit collusion between Bak’s administration and Korean industrial monopolies (Shin, 2008).

Although it is not India’s capital, it boasts the airport with the most international passengers, the busiest port system and the two largest stock exchanges in southern Asia (Clark and Moonen, 2014). Mumbai is also home to the region’s biggest cultural export, in Bollywood, and is a dynamic centre for small trading businesses in the design, fashion, tourism and jewellery sectors. These multiple drivers have seen the city’s population more than treble in 40 years, to the extent it is now one of the world’s largest and most high‐profile megacities (Table 7.1). Mumbai is now a 23 million person metropolitan region, comprised of Greater Mumbai (440 km2, 12 million people), seven other municipal corporations and nine smaller municipal councils. The 4350 km2 region is part of a 110 million person state (Maharashtra) whose population is mainly rural, and whose system of government reflects this balance. Greater Mumbai has just six of the state’s 48 MPs in a national parliament of 543 representatives.


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The Future of War by Lawrence Freedman

Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, Berlin Wall, Black Swan, British Empire, colonial rule, conceptual framework, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, currency manipulation / currency intervention, Donald Trump, drone strike, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, Ernest Rutherford, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, Google Glasses, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), John Markoff, long peace, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, mutually assured destruction, New Journalism, Norbert Wiener, open economy, pattern recognition, Peace of Westphalia, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, speech recognition, Steven Pinker, Stuxnet, the scientific method, uranium enrichment, urban sprawl, Valery Gerasimov, WikiLeaks, zero day

ISBN 978-1-61039-305-8 (HC) ISBN 978-1-61039-306-5 (EB) E3-20170928-JV-PC CONTENTS COVER TITLE PAGE COPYRIGHT DEDICATION INTRODUCTION PART ONE 1 Decisive Battle 2 Indecisive Battle 3 The House of Strife 4 Victory Through Cruelty 5 Failures of Peace 6 Total War 7 The Balance of Terror 8 Stuck in the Nuclear Age 9 A Surprise Peace PART TWO 10 A Science of War 11 Counting the Dead 12 Democracy and War 13 New Wars and Failed States 14 Ancient Hatreds and Mineral Curses 15 Intervention 16 Counter-Insurgency to Counter-Terrorism 17 From Counter-Terrorism to Counter-Insurgency 18 The Role of Barbarism 19 Cure Not Prevention PART THREE 20 Hybrid Wars 21 Cyberwar 22 Robots and Drones 23 Mega-Cities and Climate Change 24 Coming Wars 25 The Future of the Future of War ACKNOWLEDGMENTS ABOUT THE AUTHOR ALSO BY LAWRENCE FREEDMAN BIBLIOGRAPHY NOTES INDEX For Sir Michael Howard Teacher, Mentor, Friend INTRODUCTION My trade is courage and atrocities. I look at them and do not condemn. I write things down the way they happened, as near as can be remembered. I don’t ask why, because it is mostly the same.

The more it became necessary to look into particular societies at the violence within them, the more the definitions of war came to be stretched. The category could include both a nuclear war of short duration destroying whole civilisations, and some vicious local combat that had continued for years while neighbours barely paid attention. It has become reasonable to ask whether the more ferocious forms of gang warfare, hidden from view in the slums of modern mega-cities, should now count as armed conflict. The reason that the future is difficult to predict is that it depends on choices that have yet to be made, including by our governments, in circumstances that remain uncertain. We ask questions about the future to inform choices not to succumb to fatalism. By stressing this aspect of thinking about war, peace, and the use of armed force this book provides a reminder that history is made by people who do not know what is going to happen next.

Despite this wretched history of chaos and mayhem, somehow the science of war had progressed and even more ingenious methods found for taking out the enemy. The drama came from the tactical and operational, as these super-smart people made their complex systems do whatever they needed them to do. The strategic picture remained murky. They were fighting the evil and malign because they could not let them win. Behind all this lay some great political failure, but that was not where the story was to be found. [ 23 ] Mega-Cities and Climate Change In our world there are still people who run around risking their lives in bloody battles over a name or a flag or a piece of clothing but they tend to belong to gangs with names like the Bloods and the Crips and they make their living dealing drugs. FRANCIS FUKUYAMA, The End of History, 19921 As Fukuyama looked with optimism at the West’s liberal triumph in the early 1990s, there was also anxiety about whether a lack of anything serious to fight about would lead it into a soft decadence.


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The Great Surge: The Ascent of the Developing World by Steven Radelet

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, agricultural Revolution, Asian financial crisis, bank run, Berlin Wall, Branko Milanovic, business climate, business process, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, colonial rule, creative destruction, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Doha Development Round, Erik Brynjolfsson, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Gini coefficient, global pandemic, global supply chain, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, John Snow's cholera map, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, land reform, low skilled workers, M-Pesa, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, off grid, oil shock, out of africa, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, Robert Gordon, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, Simon Kuznets, South China Sea, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, trade route, women in the workforce, working poor

The UN projects that the share of people living in urban areas worldwide will increase from about half today to two-thirds by 2050. Half the population of Asia will live in urban areas by 2020, and half the population of Africa will do so by 2035. Virtually all of the expected growth in world population between now and 2050 is expected to be concentrated in the urban areas of developing countries. Far more people will live in megacities with populations greater than 10 million people. In 1970 the world had only two megacities: New York and Tokyo. Today there are twenty-two, and sixteen of the twenty new ones are in developing countries in Asia, Latin America, and Africa. Greater urbanization means more crowded living spaces, more stress on local water sources, increased air and water pollution, new challenges in creating employment for low-skilled urban workers, and major difficulties in providing adequate water, sanitation, and garbage disposal facilities.

Abacha, Sani, 99, 113 Abdullah II, King of Jordan, 187 Abu Dhabi, 159 Abundance (Diamandis and Kotler), 300 Acemoglu, Daron, 13, 129, 140, 249 Achebe, Chinua, 72 Aden, Zheng He’s trip to, 152 Afghanistan, 9, 208, 285 education in, 215 as landlocked, 202, 205 Soviet invasion of, 134, 146 US war in, 8, 10, 118, 119, 141, 146 Africa, 37, 44, 46 agriculture in, 261 climate change and, 284 democracy in, 108, 110–11 GMOs in, 172 Green Revolution and, 170–73 growth in, 50, 189 malaria in, 211–13 megacities in, 277 mobile phones in, 157 pessimism about, 12 protests in, 102 resources in, 261 Africa Betrayed (Ayittey), 140 African National Congress Party (ANC), 143, 182, 185 agricultural productivity, 22, 25, 38, 305 agriculture, 37, 44, 45, 56–57, 166, 258, 283, 293 in Africa, 261 in Asia, 201 in China, 35 geography and, 204–5 Green Revolution and, 38, 79, 170–73, 204 growth in production of, 273–74 improvements in, 194–95 trade in, 273 AIDS, 20, 75, 81–82, 83, 94, 95, 173, 174–75, 182, 205, 214, 221, 246, 266 air defense identification zone (ADIZ), 288 air travel, 168–69, 169 Aker, Jenny, 177 Akuffo, Fred, 189 Albania, 50, 108, 159 Algeria, 114 life expectancy in, 78 poverty in, 36 Allende, Salvador, 143–44 aluminum, 53 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 172, 281–82 American Indians, 112, 142 American Medical Association, 172 Amin, Idi, 127 Andes, University of the, 247 Andropov, Yuri, 134 Angola, 114, 145 forest loss in, 280 war in, 100 antibiotics, 77, 94, 267 antimicrobial resistance, 267 antiretroviral therapy (ART), 174, 214 apartheid, 44, 57, 68, 100, 103, 135, 141, 180, 182 Apple, 46 Aquino, Benigno, 143, 149 Aquino, Cory, 17, 104, 109, 184, 185, 186 Arabian Peninsula, 152 Arab Spring, 255, 263 Aral Sea, 285 Argentina, 100 financial crisis in, 255 slowing of progress in, 250, 262 Arias, Oscar, 18, 149, 184 Armenia, 113 and democracy, 248, 263 economic problems in, 255 Army Air Corps, US, 210 Arndt, Channing, 226, 227 Arnquist, Sarah, 176–77 Arrow, Kenneth, 62–63 artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), 213, 267 Asia, 79 education in, 201 financial crisis in, 38, 39, 126, 144 health in, 201 megacities in, 277 values in, 121, 122–23 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), 259 assassinations, 118 assembly, freedom of, 198–99 Australia, 25, 78, 167, 231, 281, 291 malaria in, 210 Austria, as landlocked, 202 authoritarianism, 3, 8, 22, 99, 101–3, 106, 107, 109, 120, 121–22, 125–29, 141, 146, 149, 188, 222, 224, 249–51, 255, 263–66 Ayittey, George, 140 Azerbaijan, 114 Babangida, Ibrahim, 99 Bali, 286 Bamako, 265 Banerjee, Abhijit, 14, 31 Bangladesh, 18, 37, 45, 127, 144, 159, 271 building collapse in, 162 data entry firms in, 178 democracy in, 124 education in, 87 garments from, 59 growth in, 6, 45, 238, 242, 271 inequality in, 67 jeans from, 56 MAMA in, 178 threats to gains in, 271–72 war in, 145 Zheng He’s trip to, 152 Ban Ki-moon, 284–85 banks, 56, 154, 241, 303 technology for, 175, 179 Bǎè Chuán, 152 bar associations, 110 Barlonyo camp, 287 Barre, Mohammed Siad, 99 Barro, Robert, 87 Bashir, Omar al-, 185 Batavia, 137 Bauer, Peter, 213, 220, 221 Bazzi, Sami, 225 bed nets, 94, 213 Belarus, 114, 185 Belgian Congo, 13, 140 Belize, 56, 69–70 benign dictators, 125–26 Benin, 103, 144, 216 Berlin Wall, fall of, x, 103, 123, 134, 143, 148 Bermeo, Sarah, 223 Better Angels of Our Nature, The (Pinker), 115 Bhavnani, Rikhil, 225 Bhote Koshi River, 203 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 95, 161, 171, 212 biodiversity loss, 9, 63 biofuels, 281 Birdsall, Nancy, 298 Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, King of Nepal, 122 Bismarck, Otto Eduard Leopold von, 146 Black Death, 276 black markets, 192 Boeing 707, 168 Boğaziçi University, 247 Bokassa, Jean-Bédel, 222 Boko Haram, 287 Bolivia, 162, 202, 205, 280 Bollyky, Thomas, 268 Boone, Peter, 225 border disputes, 288–91 Borlaug, Norman, 170 Botchwey, Kwesi, 189 Botswana, 9, 37, 207 aid to, 214, 216 as democracy, 98, 263 education in, 190 growth in, 5, 7, 15, 50, 126, 128, 141, 236 as landlocked, 202 life expectancy in, 81, 266 Bottom Billion, The (Collier), 118, 188, 202, 205, 217, 303 Bourguignon, François, 25, 27, 28 Brazil, 20, 22, 36, 38, 45, 155, 186 coastal vs. isolated areas in, 201 data entry firms in, 178 democracy in, 123 economic problems in, 186, 255 future of, 234 growth in, 6, 7, 20, 22, 45, 58, 235, 262 household income in, 50 inequality in, 66–67 infrastructure financing in, 259–60 innovation in, 302 natural capital in, 63 protests in, 263 reforms in, 186, 192 trade encouraged by, 155 universities in, 247 breast feeding, 178 British Royal Society, 172 British Shell Transport and Trading Company, 138 British South Africa Company, 180 Brown, Drusilla, 165 Brükner, Markus, 226 Brynjolfsson, Erik, 166, 300 budget deficits, 295 Buenos Aires, 201 Bulgaria, 7, 134, 143 Burkina Faso: demonstrations in, 281 education in, 87 as landlocked, 205 Song-Taaba Yalgré women’s cooperative in, 178 Burnside, Craig, 225 Burundi, 49 inequality in, 69–70 lack of growth in, 50 as landlocked, 202 Buthelezi, Mangosuthu, 185 Cabbages and Kings (O.

Abacha, Sani, 99, 113 Abdullah II, King of Jordan, 187 Abu Dhabi, 159 Abundance (Diamandis and Kotler), 300 Acemoglu, Daron, 13, 129, 140, 249 Achebe, Chinua, 72 Aden, Zheng He’s trip to, 152 Afghanistan, 9, 208, 285 education in, 215 as landlocked, 202, 205 Soviet invasion of, 134, 146 US war in, 8, 10, 118, 119, 141, 146 Africa, 37, 44, 46 agriculture in, 261 climate change and, 284 democracy in, 108, 110–11 GMOs in, 172 Green Revolution and, 170–73 growth in, 50, 189 malaria in, 211–13 megacities in, 277 mobile phones in, 157 pessimism about, 12 protests in, 102 resources in, 261 Africa Betrayed (Ayittey), 140 African National Congress Party (ANC), 143, 182, 185 agricultural productivity, 22, 25, 38, 305 agriculture, 37, 44, 45, 56–57, 166, 258, 283, 293 in Africa, 261 in Asia, 201 in China, 35 geography and, 204–5 Green Revolution and, 38, 79, 170–73, 204 growth in production of, 273–74 improvements in, 194–95 trade in, 273 AIDS, 20, 75, 81–82, 83, 94, 95, 173, 174–75, 182, 205, 214, 221, 246, 266 air defense identification zone (ADIZ), 288 air travel, 168–69, 169 Aker, Jenny, 177 Akuffo, Fred, 189 Albania, 50, 108, 159 Algeria, 114 life expectancy in, 78 poverty in, 36 Allende, Salvador, 143–44 aluminum, 53 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), 172, 281–82 American Indians, 112, 142 American Medical Association, 172 Amin, Idi, 127 Andes, University of the, 247 Andropov, Yuri, 134 Angola, 114, 145 forest loss in, 280 war in, 100 antibiotics, 77, 94, 267 antimicrobial resistance, 267 antiretroviral therapy (ART), 174, 214 apartheid, 44, 57, 68, 100, 103, 135, 141, 180, 182 Apple, 46 Aquino, Benigno, 143, 149 Aquino, Cory, 17, 104, 109, 184, 185, 186 Arabian Peninsula, 152 Arab Spring, 255, 263 Aral Sea, 285 Argentina, 100 financial crisis in, 255 slowing of progress in, 250, 262 Arias, Oscar, 18, 149, 184 Armenia, 113 and democracy, 248, 263 economic problems in, 255 Army Air Corps, US, 210 Arndt, Channing, 226, 227 Arnquist, Sarah, 176–77 Arrow, Kenneth, 62–63 artemisinin-based combination therapies (ACTs), 213, 267 Asia, 79 education in, 201 financial crisis in, 38, 39, 126, 144 health in, 201 megacities in, 277 values in, 121, 122–23 Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB), 259 assassinations, 118 assembly, freedom of, 198–99 Australia, 25, 78, 167, 231, 281, 291 malaria in, 210 Austria, as landlocked, 202 authoritarianism, 3, 8, 22, 99, 101–3, 106, 107, 109, 120, 121–22, 125–29, 141, 146, 149, 188, 222, 224, 249–51, 255, 263–66 Ayittey, George, 140 Azerbaijan, 114 Babangida, Ibrahim, 99 Bali, 286 Bamako, 265 Banerjee, Abhijit, 14, 31 Bangladesh, 18, 37, 45, 127, 144, 159, 271 building collapse in, 162 data entry firms in, 178 democracy in, 124 education in, 87 garments from, 59 growth in, 6, 45, 238, 242, 271 inequality in, 67 jeans from, 56 MAMA in, 178 threats to gains in, 271–72 war in, 145 Zheng He’s trip to, 152 Ban Ki-moon, 284–85 banks, 56, 154, 241, 303 technology for, 175, 179 Bǎè Chuán, 152 bar associations, 110 Barlonyo camp, 287 Barre, Mohammed Siad, 99 Barro, Robert, 87 Bashir, Omar al-, 185 Batavia, 137 Bauer, Peter, 213, 220, 221 Bazzi, Sami, 225 bed nets, 94, 213 Belarus, 114, 185 Belgian Congo, 13, 140 Belize, 56, 69–70 benign dictators, 125–26 Benin, 103, 144, 216 Berlin Wall, fall of, x, 103, 123, 134, 143, 148 Bermeo, Sarah, 223 Better Angels of Our Nature, The (Pinker), 115 Bhavnani, Rikhil, 225 Bhote Koshi River, 203 Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, 95, 161, 171, 212 biodiversity loss, 9, 63 biofuels, 281 Birdsall, Nancy, 298 Birendra Bir Bikram Shah Dev, King of Nepal, 122 Bismarck, Otto Eduard Leopold von, 146 Black Death, 276 black markets, 192 Boeing 707, 168 Boğaziçi University, 247 Bokassa, Jean-Bédel, 222 Boko Haram, 287 Bolivia, 162, 202, 205, 280 Bollyky, Thomas, 268 Boone, Peter, 225 border disputes, 288–91 Borlaug, Norman, 170 Botchwey, Kwesi, 189 Botswana, 9, 37, 207 aid to, 214, 216 as democracy, 98, 263 education in, 190 growth in, 5, 7, 15, 50, 126, 128, 141, 236 as landlocked, 202 life expectancy in, 81, 266 Bottom Billion, The (Collier), 118, 188, 202, 205, 217, 303 Bourguignon, François, 25, 27, 28 Brazil, 20, 22, 36, 38, 45, 155, 186 coastal vs. isolated areas in, 201 data entry firms in, 178 democracy in, 123 economic problems in, 186, 255 future of, 234 growth in, 6, 7, 20, 22, 45, 58, 235, 262 household income in, 50 inequality in, 66–67 infrastructure financing in, 259–60 innovation in, 302 natural capital in, 63 protests in, 263 reforms in, 186, 192 trade encouraged by, 155 universities in, 247 breast feeding, 178 British Royal Society, 172 British Shell Transport and Trading Company, 138 British South Africa Company, 180 Brown, Drusilla, 165 Brükner, Markus, 226 Brynjolfsson, Erik, 166, 300 budget deficits, 295 Buenos Aires, 201 Bulgaria, 7, 134, 143 Burkina Faso: demonstrations in, 281 education in, 87 as landlocked, 205 Song-Taaba Yalgré women’s cooperative in, 178 Burnside, Craig, 225 Burundi, 49 inequality in, 69–70 lack of growth in, 50 as landlocked, 202 Buthelezi, Mangosuthu, 185 Cabbages and Kings (O.


pages: 247 words: 78,961

The Return of Marco Polo's World: War, Strategy, and American Interests in the Twenty-First Century by Robert D. Kaplan

Admiral Zheng, always be closing, California gold rush, collective bargaining, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, failed state, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, Haight Ashbury, kremlinology, load shedding, mass immigration, megacity, one-China policy, Parag Khanna, Pax Mongolica, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, Westphalian system, Yom Kippur War

And this only hardens geopolitical divides, which, as the collapse of Middle East prison states indicates, are in evidence not only between states but within states themselves. The combination of violent upheavals and the communications revolution in all its aspects—from cyber interactions to new transportation infrastructure—has wrought a more claustrophobic and ferociously contested world: a world in which territory still matters, and where every crisis interacts with every other as never before. This is all intensified by the expansion of megacities and absolute rises in population. No matter how overcrowded, no matter how much the underground water table and nutrients in the soil have been depleted, people will fight for every patch of ground. On this violent and interactive earth, the neat divisions of Cold War area studies and of continents and subcontinents are starting to be erased as the Long European War passes from living memory.

For untold centuries, Beijing’s only problem was the so-called barbarians on the steppelands partially encircling Han China’s arable lowland cradle: the Tibetans, the Turkic Muslim Uighurs, the Inner Mongolians, and others, who either had to be violently subdued, bribed, or demographically overwhelmed, exactly as they must be today. China’s twenty-two urban clusters, each containing at least one megacity, all happen to be located within Han China’s arable cradle, which constitutes the territory of Chinese imperial dynasties throughout history and excludes this semicircle of steppelands. It was only in the mid-eighteenth century that the last of those dynasties, that of the Qing or Manchus (who were themselves outsiders), expanded into the barbarian desert and steppe regions, thus preparing the geographical context of the current Chinese state—a state that overlaps with Muslim Central Asia.

And as the principal geographical satellite of the Afro-Eurasian landmass,*41 North America will remain pivotal to world history even while it is protected from many of the disruptions that will overtake Afro-Eurasia itself. For this is a world that will be more volatile precisely because of the growth of middle and working classes that are less stoical than the rural poor, of which there will be less. Indeed, it is the shantytown, the incubator of misery and utopian ideology, that will help define the megacities of Afro-Eurasia. The more urbanized, the more educated, and even the more enlightened the world becomes, counterintuitively, the more politically unstable it becomes, too.*42 This is what techno-optimists and those who inhabit the world of fancy corporate gatherings are prone to miss: They wrongly equate wealth creation—and unevenly distributed wealth creation at that—with political order and stability.


Building and Dwelling: Ethics for the City by Richard Sennett

Buckminster Fuller, car-free, clean water, cognitive dissonance, complexity theory, creative destruction, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, double helix, Downton Abbey, East Village, en.wikipedia.org, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, housing crisis, illegal immigration, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, new economy, Nicholas Carr, Norbert Wiener, open borders, place-making, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Richard Florida, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart cities, Smart Cities: Big Data, Civic Hackers, and the Quest for a New Utopia, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban planning, urban renewal, Victor Gruen

This system flourished for about twenty years before becoming somewhat squashed by top-down power, but even more by the sheer scale of people who wanted to be included in the process as the city grew in size. In Brazil, as megacities emerged, negotiations between a very large cluster of localities began to lose coherence and stretch out endlessly throughout the year. Moreover, the vast wave of migrants which create a megacity were often not integrated into the organizations and assemblies required for participatory budgeting. Enter the smart city, via the smartphone and big-data assemblage. Huge ‘inputs’, i.e. shifting votes, can be handled, as changes in the distribution of funds over many communities are calculated in real time. Rather than prescribing, big data now make it possible to coordinate participation at a megacity scale. Citizens communicate online if no longer face-to-face. The data is still organized as debatable, and problematic.

Jean Gottmann, Megalopolis: The Urbanized Northeastern Seaboard of the United States (New York: Twentieth Century Fund, 1961). 10. Cf. Steef Buijs, Wendy Tan and Devisari Tunas (eds), Megacities: Exploring a Sustainable Future (Rotterdam: Nai010 Publishers, 2010). 11. Cf. Saskia Sassen, The Global City (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1998). 12. William H. Janeway, Doing Capitalism in the Innovation Economy: Markets, Speculation and the State (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017), Chapter 4, passim. 13. Saskia Sassen, Cities in a World Economy, 4th edn (Los Angeles: Sage Publications, 2012). 14. Liu Thai Ker, ‘Urbanizing Singapore’, in Megacities, ed. Buijs, Tan and Tunas, pp. 246–7. Singapore stands out as an exception to this rule. 15. Ravi Teja Sharma, ‘Floor Area Ratio, Ground Coverage Increased in Delhi; Move to Benefit Buyers’, The Economic Times (India), 27 November 2014. 16.

Garden cities, in Ebenezer Howard’s original conception, were meant to contain about 60,000 inhabitants; such a place with so few people would be a mere blip in the Shanghai landscape, or in its newly developing satellite cities, where 3 to 4 million people was to be the norm: you’d need a thousand garden cities threaded together and functionally related to make the Shanghai metropolitan region of 2050. Similarly, Corbusier’s original Plan Voisin would have housed, by my rough calculation, 40,000–45,000 people at most. Urban growth of the Chinese sort exposes the limits of either plan in creating coherence for a megacity.26 Of the three Western founders, Frederick Law Olmsted and his conviction about the sociable glue of green space was the most provoking to her, because the most troubling. Landscape projects in the new Shanghai have not glued people together; indeed, the forest of towers, a realization of the Plan Voisin on a huge scale, has engineered a social crisis. The social consequences of state-sponsored core investing have been made tangible in one building form.


pages: 505 words: 147,916

Adventures in the Anthropocene: A Journey to the Heart of the Planet We Made by Gaia Vince

3D printing, agricultural Revolution, bank run, car-free, carbon footprint, citizen journalism, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, energy security, failed state, Google Earth, Haber-Bosch Process, hive mind, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, load shedding, M-Pesa, Mars Rover, Masdar, megacity, mobile money, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Peter Thiel, phenotype, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, stem cell, supervolcano, sustainable-tourism

Clean water and antibiotics dramatically slashed the death toll and, for the first time, large concentrations of humans could live in relative safety. Cities have grown from the once vast Nineveh – home to 120,000 people in 650 BC – to the megacities of the Anthropocene with more than 10 million inhabitants. The Anthropocene is the urban age. Our species is undergoing the biggest migration in human history – already more than half of us live in cities; by 2050, around 7 billion of us will. We have become Homo urbanus – a different creature, a faster-thinking, more reactive, more genetically diverse human. Human history is increasingly urban history. A million-person city will be built every ten days over the next eighty years.1 There are currently around thirty megacities on the planet, and by 2050 they are expected to merge into dozens of megaregions, like Hong Kong–Shenzhen–Guangzhou in China, where more than 100 million people will live in a seemingly endless city.

People have been elevated from terrible conditions to a brighter modernity with running water and electricity, but crucially within their own neighbourhoods. Canals and parks have been built, the streets are cleaned and drainage ditches maintained. Skyscrapers pierce the heavens at a faster rate than in any other city on the continent. Medellín is no megacity, but smaller cities like this will bear the brunt of humanity’s great urbanisation. Less economically important nationally and internationally, such second-tier cities often miss out on the attention and resources directed at improving megacities and tourist centres. Nevertheless, the example of Medellín shows that the vast migration from countryside to city needn’t be a crisis but an opportunity. That’s something Brazil, one of the most economically unequal countries, has taken to heart. In the cities of Brazil, the urban poor live in slums called favelas (after the first such settlement, which was established on a hill called Morro da Favela), made up of squatters who build incredibly dense shanty towns of increasingly robust materials.

There is not the vast diversity of landscape and experience that exists across the natural world. The urban revolution of the Anthropocene could prove the solution to many of the environmental and social problems of our age, allowing humans to inhabit the planet in vast numbers but in the most sustainable way. Or, it could finally prove our species’ undoing, the apocalyptic version of the dystopian megacity so often portrayed in science fiction. Urbanisation in many of the places I visited in the developing world is mired in squalor, the accumulation of rubbish, and polluted waters and land. This is the result of fast, unplanned migration to what are often ‘illegal’ sites, meaning that even if municipalities wanted to provide infrastructure such as waste collection and sewerage they would struggle.


Order Without Design: How Markets Shape Cities by Alain Bertaud

autonomous vehicles, call centre, colonial rule, congestion charging, creative destruction, cross-subsidies, Deng Xiaoping, discounted cash flows, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, en.wikipedia.org, extreme commuting, garden city movement, Google Earth, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land tenure, manufacturing employment, market design, market fragmentation, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, openstreetmap, Pearl River Delta, price mechanism, rent control, Right to Buy, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, the built environment, trade route, transaction costs, transit-oriented development, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban sprawl, zero-sum game

The negative growth of many cities below five million people is consistent with the Japanese experience. The distribution of cities in figure 8.6 shows the preponderance of urban development in Africa and Asia, areas with the highest growth rates for megacities as well as for smaller cities. The shift in the economic center of gravity of the world, from North America and Western Europe toward Asia, which occurred at the beginning of the twenty-first century, is put in evidence on the graph; while some megacities in Asia are growing at more than 3 percent a year, megacities in Europe, Latin America, and North America are growing at less than 2 percent a year. In Asia, the large investment in infrastructure that took place during the past 20 years has stimulated the growth of more cities by making trade easier and transport less costly.

From the beginning of the twenty-first century we will see a strong divergence between very dynamic megacities like the Pearl River Delta cities, for instance, and shrinking cities in Europe and some parts of the North American continent. Let us now look at the potential for dynamic cities. In 2014 the United Nations published a report titled “World Urbanization Prospects 2014.” I reproduce one of the major graphs from the report in figure 8.6. The graph displays the growth rates between 2000 and 2014 for world cities sorted by continents and by size class. We see immediately a large dispersion of annual growth rates from 10 percent to −1.5 percent. The largest dispersion is on the Asian continent, where megacities of more than 10 million have been growing from about 0.5 percent to 5 percent. Figure 8.6 Urban growth rates by region and city size, between 2000 and 2014.

Improvements to transport technology have also made possible the spatial concentration of both people and fixed capital. Economists describe fixed capital as factories, office buildings, houses, apartment buildings, community facilities, and infrastructure. In the past 50 years, increasing returns to scale in agglomeration economies as a result of this spatial concentration have led to the emergence of megacities. The potential economic advantages of large cities are reaped only if workers, consumers, and suppliers are able to exchange labor, goods, and ideas with minimum friction and to multiply face-to-face contacts with minimum time commitments and cost. As a city grows, it is important to monitor mobility by comparing how average travel times and transport costs vary over time, as productivity cannot increase without fast and cheap travel (see chapter 5 for a full discussion of travel times and transport costs).


The Making of a World City: London 1991 to 2021 by Greg Clark

Basel III, Berlin Wall, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, Boris Johnson, British Empire, business climate, business cycle, capital controls, carbon footprint, congestion charging, corporate governance, cross-subsidies, deindustrialization, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, East Village, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, financial intermediation, global value chain, haute cuisine, housing crisis, industrial cluster, intangible asset, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, labour market flexibility, low skilled workers, manufacturing employment, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, Pearl River Delta, place-making, rent control, Robert Gordon, Silicon Valley, smart cities, sovereign wealth fund, trickle-down economics, urban planning, urban renewal, working poor

The evidence from this chapter suggests that London’s part-experimental and part-aspirational model of governance and investment is insufficient to fully meet growth challenges in the future. The third section of the book looks forward to the next phase of London as a world city and offers a panorama from which to assess its future prospects. In Chapter 10 I explore the topology of the global urban system in 2015, drawing on the insights of numerous urban benchmark studies. I evaluate the respective merits of the top tier of cities, and contemplates which of the emerging megacities exert the most compelling pressures on (and provide opportunities for) London. The chapter concludes with ten factors of success which the competitive urban system demands that both established and prospective world city leaders consider. Introduction: Honor Chapman and London: World City 9 London’s current standing within this revised global system of cities is explored in comprehensive detail in Chapter 11.

London has been either a deliberate or unwitting pioneer of sustained population internationalisation, dockland regeneration, creating a second business district, international investment promotion, train station and street market redevelopment, metropolitan business leadership, road pricing, and building an international student economy. It also has valuable, if not always optimal or replicable, experience in assembling a metropolitan government structure, pursuing large-scale renewal projects and tackling pervasive worklessness. London’s progress both reflects and shapes its own unique ‘DNA’. I explain how this DNA is instructive for established world cities, emerging megacities, and fast-growing ‘middleweight’ cities. London’s journey since 1991 is one of inspirational adaptation, determined resilience and, on occasion, thwarted opportunity. There are very few examples of cities with millennia of history being transformed as dramatically and peacefully as London has been in the past quarter of a century. The transformation is a product not only of sweeping structural trends, but also of the applied adaptability, ambition, intelligence, confidence and persistence of London’s leaders, ambassadors and citizens.

Published 2015 by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. 48 The evolution of London, 1991 to 2015 Box 5.1: What they said about London’s governance 20 years ago “The main thing wrong with London today is its structure of government … We are in one of those bouts of self-disgust that periodically afflict all major cities.” (Hebbert, 1992) “Some critics argue that the problem is complicated because London, alone among the major cities of the world, does not have its own central, elected government to oversee and coordinate activities.” (Schmidt, 1994) “London may, at first glance, seem an odd place to go for lessons on how to run a megacity. The most striking thing about London’s city government is that it does not exist . . . Many Londoners feel uncomfortable with this lack of a symbolic figure to speak for the whole city, and look with envy at the role of Jacques Chirac in Paris or Rudolph Giuliani in New York. [But] London’s fragmentation is a source of strength rather than weakness … A big central authority is likely to damage, not enhance, London’s longterm economic interests.”


pages: 321 words: 89,109

The New Gold Rush: The Riches of Space Beckon! by Joseph N. Pelton

3D printing, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Buckminster Fuller, Carrington event, Colonization of Mars, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, global pandemic, Google Earth, gravity well, Iridium satellite, Jeff Bezos, job automation, Johannes Kepler, John von Neumann, life extension, low earth orbit, Lyft, Mark Shuttleworth, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, megastructure, new economy, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, post-industrial society, private space industry, Ray Kurzweil, Silicon Valley, skunkworks, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Thomas Malthus, Tim Cook: Apple, Tunguska event, uber lyft, urban planning, urban sprawl, wikimedia commons, X Prize

The data from nuclear explosion detectors on the GPS satellites over the past decade have verified that the constant bombardment of asteroids, bolides, meteors and meteoroids has been underestimated by perhaps four to five times—both in frequency of occurrence and mass. The issue of increasing risk from cosmic hazards is building up here on Earth. Increasing risk comes from an ever increasing human population and the rise of megacities—massive, sprawling cities with more than 10 million people. There will be more than 50 such cities by 2050 and perhaps a 100 by 2100. This means that when asteroids carry out target practice on our small planet they have more and more exciting targets to hit. We were lucky with the cosmic hit that led to the 40-m object hitting the very remote Tunguska area of Siberia in the 1900s. The next time it may be the San Francisco Bay area, which is of an equivalent size to the devastation area burned to a crisp when the rogue Tunguska object hit a century ago .

This chapter reviews the status of current cosmic hazards that face nations of the world and strategies for dealing with these challenges through better detection, a more proactive technological response, the creation of new standards, legal or regulatory actions or possibly new organizational mechanisms. Fortunately some of these steps have been initiated, but there are still many more that need to be taken. Potentially Hazardous Asteroids and Comets If a relatively large asteroid or comet were to strike Earth, it could wipe out a megacity or worse. There are many variables to be considered—the size and composition of the asteroid, the speed of the asteroid or comet, etc. In this case it would likely be traveling at a very accelerated pace. Finally, the nature of the impact in the atmosphere, whether on land or a water impact that could trigger a truly massive tidal wave, is also key. Such a collision by a large space rock just off shore in the ocean could kill and/or injure a considerable number of people, not to say ocean wildlife.

NASA’s efforts are far behind schedule, and they have found only a fraction of the asteroids that are over 140 m in diameter. The estimates from the B612 Foundation, which was started by astronaut Rusty Schwieckart and now headed by astronaut Ed Lu, is that there are on the order of 1 million near Earth objects (NEOs) that are 35 m in diameter or larger. Probably all of these at the right velocity and angle of entry would be able to wipe out metropolitan New York City, Tokyo, or Shanghai. As the number of megacities continue to increase toward 50 or more, the chances of a mega-kill by a potentially hazardous asteroid continues to increase. Let’s put what we are talking about into numbers. At best NASA, the other space agencies and the ground observatories that are looking for potentially hazardous asteroids has found about 20,000. This would leave 980,000 potentially lethal potentially hazardous asteroids to be found and assessed as to the likelihood that they might wipe out Tokyo, London, or Shanghai with some 10 million people in a brief moment.


pages: 366 words: 123,151

The Routes of Man: How Roads Are Changing the World and the Way We Live Today by Ted Conover

airport security, Atahualpa, carbon footprint, Deng Xiaoping, East Village, financial independence, Google Earth, mass immigration, megacity, mutually assured destruction, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, Ronald Reagan, transatlantic slave trade, urban planning, urban renewal

Evangelical Christianity and populist Islam were the fastest-growing religions here, and they were of a piece with the worldly grime and grit. They offered a path to higher ground, a spiritual elevation from the omnipresent squalor and constant threat of scam. Higher yet, I could picture the boundaries of Lagos, those edges where creeping urban settlement met with field and forest. Roads connected the megacity to smaller ones, but this megacity was hardly alone: Lagos is “simply the biggest node in the shantytown corridor of 70 million people that stretches from Abidjan to Ibadan,” as Mike Davis has observed. At night, from space, you’d be able to see an amazing band of lights across the coast of West Africa. At least, if the power was on. EPILOGUE ONE OF THE GREAT CHALLENGES in writing a book about roads is to avoid the inadvertent use of road metaphors.

They may not be as wealthy or advanced as celebrated world capitals like London, Paris, Moscow, Montreal, Sydney, and New York, but they are quickly becoming larger. The world’s population of 6 billion will increase by 2 billion over the next thirty years (it is tentatively expected to peak around 10 billion), and almost all of that increase will be in cities in Asia, Africa, and Latin America. By virtue of their sheer size these megacities will be, in certain ways, the most important in the coming century. I chose to end my travel in Lagos for a number of reasons. One was its extremity: of all those fast-growing cities, its growth has for years been projected to be the fastest. In 1950 Lagos had 288,000 people; as I write it is estimated to have 14 million; by 2015, predicts the Population Reference Bureau, it will be the third largest city in the world, with over 23 million souls.

As the largest city in the region, Lagos attracted a mix of returning expatriates, migrants from the various neighboring countries, many fleeing rural famine and drought, and refugees from the Biafran war (1967-70), in which a southeastern province, Biafra, attempted to secede from Nigeria. The continuing popularity of Lagos, and its ability to assimilate new arrivals, whether foreign-born or native, surprises not only foreigners but Nigerians themselves. The growth of Third World megacities repeats patterns seen in nineteenth-and early-twentieth-century Europe and North America but also “confounds” these precedents, writes Mike Davis. It’s the confounding parts that interest Koolhaas and others. Are these cities moving toward a robust, vibrant future, or into the apocalypse? Either way, Lagos represents the future for perhaps the majority of people on the planet, a compelling example of what happens when the track through the wilderness comes to the center of society.


pages: 412 words: 128,042

Extreme Economies: Survival, Failure, Future – Lessons From the World’s Limits by Richard Davies

agricultural Revolution, air freight, Anton Chekhov, artificial general intelligence, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, big-box store, cashless society, clean water, complexity theory, deindustrialization, eurozone crisis, failed state, financial innovation, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, James Hargreaves, job automation, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, joint-stock company, large denomination, Livingstone, I presume, Malacca Straits, mandatory minimum, manufacturing employment, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, pension reform, profit motive, randomized controlled trial, school choice, school vouchers, Scramble for Africa, side project, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, the payments system, trade route, Travis Kalanick, uranium enrichment, urban planning, wealth creators, white picket fence, working-age population, Y Combinator, young professional

The second part of the book starts with the Darien Gap, a site of such enviable location and natural riches that it has been a target for entrepreneurs since the 1500s. Today the territory remains a lawless no-man’s land, has a reputation as one of the most dangerous places on earth, and is the scene of devastating environmental degradation. Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, has such potential that it should be Africa’s best megacity. But it too is a place of failure; home to 10 million people, it is the poorest major city on earth. Glasgow once vied with London for the title of Britain’s leading city, with so many breakthroughs in science, engineering and the arts that there was no better place to live at the start of the twentieth century. But Glasgow unravelled, losing everything as it became Britain’s most troubled city, a dubious honour it retains today.

Spotting a valuable opportunity, squads of specialized policemen from armed response units wearing flak jackets and equipped with machine guns decided to get involved, to help enforce the new law. Their motivation was revenue, not road safety, and it meant abandoning the responsibilities they had been trained and kitted out for. The magnetic effect traffic duties have on the police in Kinshasa shows how even low-level corruption has serious costs by encouraging the misallocation of public resources. THE DIY MEGACITY For the people of Kinshasa the daily challenge is to avoid the costs that tax officials, traffic police and others impose. The way to get ahead starts with personal greetings which, when dealing with any state employee, must be made in Swahili, a language with its roots thousands of miles away in East Africa. Using Swahili is a signal in Kinshasa: Mobutu was said to favour Lingala speakers and since his demise favouritism has shifted east, with the Kabila family who hail from the far east of the Congo appointing ministers, bodyguards and advisers who have links to Tanzania and Rwanda.

Yet far from being a city in the doldrums, it is a vibrant place, buzzing, and offers two perspectives that may help as we consider our own uncertain economic futures. The first is to be optimistic about the power of the informal, underground or pirate economy. Kinshasa shows that the human desire to trade, exchange and build a market can go well beyond small villages, refugee camps or prisons – it can span a megacity the size of London. Despite being on a completely different scale, the place I visited that was most similar to Kinshasa was the Zaatari camp. The people of Kinshasa, let down first by colonial powers, then by Mobutu and the Kabila family, have come to rely on a self-built economy of hawking and gig employment. As with people hit by a natural disaster or fleeing war, the basic needs for food and shelter are at risk in Kinshasa; here the cause is poverty, and the Congolese use illegal pirate markets as a kind of natural defence.


pages: 369 words: 98,776

The God Species: Saving the Planet in the Age of Humans by Mark Lynas

Airbus A320, back-to-the-land, Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, decarbonisation, dematerialisation, demographic transition, Haber-Bosch Process, ice-free Arctic, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, moral hazard, Negawatt, New Urbanism, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, peak oil, planetary scale, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, special drawing rights, Stewart Brand, undersea cable, University of East Anglia

If batteries can be designed that charge faster and last longer, most of us could simply plug in our cars at home or while parked in town—a much better option than driving to a gas station and having to line up to pay afterward. Electric is clearly the way to go for the majority of surface transportation. This includes mopeds and bikes as well as large trucks. With oil prices rising and local air pollution worsening in developing-world megacities, the tipping point may come even sooner than many pundits think and be driven by demand in fast-growing countries like China. All the major automotive companies are now positioning themselves to exploit this massive future market: Nissan, General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen, Honda, Ford, BMW, Tesla Motors, and Daimler are already or soon will be offering affordable electric vehicles. Tesla’s Roadster is a far cry from the electric vehicle’s caricature: This all-electric sports car can race from 0 to 60 miles an hour in under four seconds and has a top speed of 125 mph.

SEX AND THE CITY As a general rule—and making an exception for indigenous people and other communities who have demonstrated a long-term commitment to the sustainable use of their local environments—the fewer people who live in or close to rain forests and other important ecological biomes the better. Rural depopulation and urbanization in developing countries are often decried by those who are concerned about the relentless expansion of megacities, which seem terribly unsustainable because of their noise, sprawling slums, congestion, and pollution. But from the perspective of sustainable land use and habitat protection, the more that growing numbers of people can be persuaded to herd themselves into relatively small areas of urban land, the better for the environment. Village life, particularly in extremely poor developing countries, should not be romanticized by outsiders.

Whenever they are given the chance, younger generations tend to flee to the cities, where they have many more livelihood options and can escape the cultural oppression that is often a hallmark of traditional societies. In many parts of the world, if you want to marry the person you choose, be openly gay, be female and have a career, or avoid daily backbreaking labor carrying water or fetching firewood, then you probably need to move to the city. In 1975 there were just three megacities of over 10 million people. Today there are 21. It sounds scary, but this unstoppable shift toward urbanization actually ranks as one of the most environmentally beneficial trends of the last few decades. As the UN Population Fund wrote in a recent report: “Density is potentially useful. With world population at 6.7 billion people in 2007 and growing at over 75 million a year, demographic concentration gives sustainability a better chance.


pages: 496 words: 131,938

The Future Is Asian by Parag Khanna

3D printing, Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, barriers to entry, Basel III, blockchain, Boycotts of Israel, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, carbon footprint, cashless society, clean water, cloud computing, colonial rule, computer vision, connected car, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency peg, deindustrialization, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, energy security, European colonialism, factory automation, failed state, falling living standards, family office, fixed income, flex fuel, gig economy, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, haute cuisine, illegal immigration, income inequality, industrial robot, informal economy, Internet of things, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge worker, light touch regulation, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, Monroe Doctrine, mortgage debt, natural language processing, Netflix Prize, new economy, off grid, oil shale / tar sands, open economy, Parag Khanna, payday loans, Pearl River Delta, prediction markets, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, reserve currency, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Scramble for Africa, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, supply-chain management, sustainable-tourism, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, Travis Kalanick, uber lyft, upwardly mobile, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

With the help of Western architects and designers, China is deploying smog-eating towers that suck in smog and pump out purified air, recycling the captured waste into products such as jewelry, and smog-eating bicycles that release clean air with each turn of the pedal. China is also implementing European-style cap-and-trade carbon market schemes in the most industrialized provinces. In addition to industrial output, transportation is among the first targets of any government serious about cleaning up its environmental footprint. China has set a target for 40 percent of the residents of its megacities to use public transportation by 2020, with slightly lower percentages targeted for big, medium, and small cities that have less congestion. It has also mandated that all automotive companies—foreign and local—sell electric cars or risk being banned from selling diesel vehicles. Just as Europe has done for decades in demanding high product safety standards to access its markets, China’s powerful regulatory signals have jolted the global automotive industry.

Yet China’s diversions of the Brahmaputra River headwaters in Tibet have had significant consequences for the entire Gangetic civilization, much as its damming of the upper Mekong River has affected the agricultural production cycles of much of Southeast Asia. Meanwhile, China’s overconsumption and pollution of its major rivers could speed up nascent plans to divert Russia’s mighty rivers southward toward China’s cities and farmland. Asia has the largest number of megacities facing water shortages from overconsumption. Some Chinese cities are projected to run out of clean water by 2020.35 India faces a crisis of water tables falling nationwide; Iranian protests have been spreading as taps run dry. Across the region, trillions of dollars of spending are necessary to fix leaky pipes and lay new ones, install efficient water management systems, and construct large-scale desalination facilities.

Meanwhile, Australia wants to sell solar and wind power to Indonesia, and Mongolia is generating solar and wind power both for itself and to export to China. The more Asians invest in resource-sharing technologies, the more they will integrate into a regional ecological system to complement their economic system. Asia’s spiritual revival has been an ecological motivator across the region. As hyperspeed industrialization chokes Asian cities from coastal China to New Delhi, ever more Asians are opting for a slower life outside the megacities and lending their support to Buddhist and Taoist eco-activist movements that advocate sustainable living. At Mao Mountain, a sacred Taoist site in eastern China, the abbot Yang Shihua calls upon followers to revere the statue of Laozi as a “Green God.” In 2018, the Buddhist Association of China successfully lobbied to block the IPO of a holy mountain site to prevent its overdevelopment. Even though religion is heavily regulated in China, Xi Jinping himself has called for China to return to its roots as an “ecological civilization.”37 Recent surveys suggest that all across Asia there is a strong willingness to pay more for sustainably sourced products.38 Young Chinese are no longer fond of shark-fin soup.


pages: 197 words: 49,240

Melting Pot or Civil War?: A Son of Immigrants Makes the Case Against Open Borders by Reihan Salam

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Bonfire of the Vanities, charter city, delayed gratification, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, ghettoisation, guest worker program, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, industrial robot, interchangeable parts, job automation, low skilled workers, low-wage service sector, mass immigration, megacity, new economy, obamacare, open borders, race to the bottom, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, two tier labour market, upwardly mobile, urban decay, working poor

Winning over the Mexican government by helping it create employment opportunities at home would be far wiser than trying to bully Mexico into doing our bidding, as some Americans would prefer. Just as important, it would be far more humane and constructive, and it would pave the way for a more cooperative relationship in the decades to come. In time, a deeper U.S. partnership with Mexico could serve as a model for other countries—a far cry from the acrimonious relationship we have at present. The Magic of Megacities The truth, though, is that while migration pressures from Mexico and Central America command much of our attention, the real action in the coming decades will be in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. According to UN projections, even as populations in much of the world stabilize, sub-Saharan Africa will still enjoy relatively high fertility. And so, as the economists Gordon Hanson and Craig McIntosh have observed,11 the number of working-age adults born in the region will go from roughly half a billion to more than 1.3 billion between 2010 and 2050.

See also linked migration Chakravorty, Sanjoy, 40 charter cities, 144–45, 147–48 child care, 46, 120 child poverty, 22–25, 34, 35–36, 175–77 children of immigrants, 31–61 birthrates, native-born vs. immigrant, 32–33 collective responsibility for well-being, 45–48 intergenerational transmission of poverty, 22–25, 35–36, 43–44, 175–79 King’s “somebody else’s babies” remark, 32, 33–34 “public charge” test, 48–51 Qatar solution, 56–61 role of education, 36, 39, 41–43, 56 role of selection, 40–41, 43–44 separating parent and child, 57 role of social status, 39–40, 44 tax policy, 48, 55–56, 177–79 child tax credit (CTC), 48, 176–79 China immigration, 142–43 megacities, 144 Chinese Americans, 41 Chinese labor, 123–24, 127 CHIP (Children’s Health Insurance Program), 50 circular migration, 81–82 citizens and strangers, 9–11 civil war, 18–19 Claremont Review of Books, 18 class politics, 103–4 Clemens, Michael, 111–12, 132 Clinton, Bill, 49, 125 Codevilla, Angelo, 18 college-educated families advantages of, 27, 42, 86, 87 median income, 22 college-educated immigrants, 165–68 Collier, Paul, 146–47 Columbia University, 52 coming majority-minority crossover, 19–26 Cortés, Patricia, 107 cost of living, 131, 136, 149 Cotton, Tom, 169 Cowie, Jefferson, 80 Cox, Adam, 162, 171 Crown Heights riot of 1991, 181 custodial services, 119 DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), 9–11, 157–58 Democratic National Convention (2016), 157–57 Denmark, poverty rate, 34 disadvantaged groups and the mainstream, 65–69 discrimination, 31–32, 67 Dreamers, 9–11, 157–58, 160–61 Duncan, Brian, 86 earned income tax credit (EITC), 48, 176–77, 178 economic growth, 79–80, 118, 144, 151 economics of immigration, 12–13, 95–128.

See also “chain migration” Liu, Chen, 83–84, 141, 175 lone-wolf terrorists, 3 Los Angeles, majority-minority crossover, 20–21 low-skill immigrants (immigration), 22–24, 151–52 Americas First policy, 131–34 bullet biters and, 5–6 classic arguments for, 95–96, 151–52 coming majority-minority crossover, 22–24 development in source countries, 131–34 globalization backlash, 123–28 impact on native wages, 101–2, 115 limits on, 12–13, 27–29, 84, 130, 173–75 middle-class melting pot and, 27–28 political powerlessness of, 22–24 short run and long run, 99–102 Singapore model, 97–99, 102 skills gap, 81 Swedish model, 96–97 low-skill workers, 12–13, 99–102 automation and, 5–6, 12–13, 95–96 economic self-interest and, 106–7 labor supply and, 99–102 offshoring and, 12–13, 95–96, 102–7 McIntosh, Craig, 83–84, 139–40, 141, 175 mainstream and disadvantaged groups, 65–69 majority-minority crossover, 19–26 Maloney, Maureen, 159 Martin, David, 163–64 Mayflower, 15 median income, 22, 35 Medicaid, 46, 49, 126 Medicare, 136 megacities, 139–48, 156 melting pot, 14, 15–19, 65–67, 155 brief history of idea, 15–17 mainstream and disadvantaged groups, 65–69 toward a middle-class, 26–29 Melting Pot, The (play), 15 Mendoza, Mary Ann, 159 Mexican Americans, 41, 68, 69–72, 85–87 Mexican immigrants assimilation, two stories of, 69–72 children and role of education, 42–43, 86, 87 development in Mexico and, 134–35, 138–39 mainstream and the margins, 68 Mexican seasonal workers (bracero program), 111–12, 119 Mexico antipoverty programs, 134–35 Central American migrants, 133–35, 138–39 GDP per capita (PPP), 133 per capita income, 133, 134 poverty rate, 34 regulating flow of migration to U.S., 138–39 U.S. retirees in, 135–38 midcentury America, 16–17, 79, 80 middle-class melting pot, 26–29 migrant worker programs, 58–60, 98–99, 111–14 minimum wage, 47–48, 97, 107 model minority illusion, 38–44 monogenerational immigration systems, 57–61, 102 multigenerational immigration systems, 57–61 Muslim immigrants, 3–4, 89–90 Napoleonic Wars, 73 National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NAS), 53–55, 56 National Affairs, 162 nativism, 91, 105 naturalization, 23 New Deal, 14, 16–17, 80 New York City attempted bombing of 2017, 2–3, 4, 6–7 author’s immigrant story, 63–64, 67–68, 75–76 Bangladeshi community, 64, 74–78 civil unrest in, 181–82 New York Times, The, 61 New York University, 121 Nigeria per capita income, 132–33 population growth, 140 “non-zero-sum mobility,” 79 Northwestern University, 52 Obama, Barack, 9–11, 49 Obamacare, 174 offshoring, 12–13, 94–96, 102–7, 123, 135 of caregiving, 137–38 South Korean model, 103–4 virtual immigration, 148–50 Okun, Arthur, 118 open border advocates, 4–5, 8–11, 84, 113, 115, 188.


pages: 1,234 words: 356,472

Pandora's Star by Peter F. Hamilton

carbon-based life, clean water, corporate governance, Magellanic Cloud, megacity, nuclear winter, plutocrats, Plutocrats, random walk, rolodex, Rubik’s Cube, stem cell, the scientific method, trade route, urban sprawl

Children were the only people who didn’t work on Augusta, but they did grow up with a faintly screwed-up view of the rest of the Commonwealth, believing it to be made up of romantic planets where everyone lived in small cozy villages at the center of grand countryside vistas. Mark Vernon was one such child, growing up in the Orangewood district at the south end of New Costa. As districts went, it was no better or worse than any other in the megacity. Most days the harsh sunlight was diffused by a brown haze of smog, and the Augusta Engineering Corp, which owned and ran the megacity, wasn’t going to waste valuable real estate with parks. So along with his ’hood buddies he powerscooted along the maze of hot asphalt between strip malls, and hung out anywhere guaranteed to annoy adults and authority. His parents got him audio and retinal inserts and i-spot OCtattoos at twelve so that he was fully virtual, because that was the age for Augusta kids to start direct-loading education.

It wasn’t because there was crime on Augusta—at least, noncorporate crime; the well-to-do simply enjoyed the sense of physical separation from the rest of the megacity. Low sunlight gleamed off the district’s buildings and sidewalks, creating a hazy lustrous shimmer. He breathed in the warm dry air, trying to relax. As always when the tiny blue-white sun sank down toward the horizon, the warm El Iopi wind blew out of the southern desert toward the sea. It swept the day’s pollution away, along with the humidity, leaving just the scent of blossom from the trees and roadside bushes. During his childhood, his parents had taken him and his siblings out into the desert several times, spending long weekends at oasis resorts. He’d enjoyed the scenery, the endless miles of flinty rock and sand, with only the rainbow buds of the scrawny twiglike native plants showing any color in that wasted landscape. It was a break from the megacity that was all he’d known.

They poured a constant supply of cheap crops into the food processing factories dotted along the inland edge of New Costa, to be transformed into packaged convenience portions and distributed first to the megacity’s inhabitants, then out to the other planets, of which Earth was the greatest market. After snaking down through the Northumberland Hills, Howell Avenue opened out into Santa Hydra, a broad flat expanse that led all the way across to the coastline twenty-five kilometers away. He could see the Port Klye nest in the distance, eleven big concrete fission reactor domes perched along the shore. The ground around them was a flat bed of asphalt squares, where nothing grew and nothing moved, a mile-wide security moat separating them from the megacity that they helped to energize. Pure white steam trickled out of their turbine-building chimneys, glowing rose-gold in the evening light.


pages: 441 words: 113,244

Seasteading: How Floating Nations Will Restore the Environment, Enrich the Poor, Cure the Sick, and Liberate Humanity From Politicians by Joe Quirk, Patri Friedman

3D printing, access to a mobile phone, addicted to oil, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, barriers to entry, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, Burning Man, business climate, business cycle, business process, California gold rush, Celtic Tiger, Charles Lindbergh, clean water, Colonization of Mars, Dean Kamen, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, failed state, financial intermediation, Gini coefficient, happiness index / gross national happiness, income inequality, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, low skilled workers, Machinery of Freedom by David Friedman, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, minimum wage unemployment, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, offshore financial centre, open borders, paypal mafia, peak oil, Peter H. Diamandis: Planetary Resources, Peter Thiel, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, special economic zone, standardized shipping container, stem cell, trade route, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, undersea cable, young professional

In 2006 the journal Science published a four-year study written by an international group of ecologists from Canada, Panama, Sweden, Britain, and the United States, which predicted that, at prevailing trends, the world will run out of wild-caught seafood in 2048—though the assumptions behind these claims have been widely disputed. Fertilizer. The soil is running out of phosphate, a crucial ingredient in fertilizer required for farming. The most optimistic estimate for “peak phosphorus,” the point at which we reach the world’s maximum rate of phosphorus production, is 2050. Land. Eighty percent of the world’s expanding megacities are sinking on a coast or river plain while sea levels rise. More than 1 million people move to cities each week, and by 2050, about half of the human population will live within 100 kilometers of a coast. Humanity is poised to plunge in 2050. We can drown or we can float. We don’t know enough about each subject to judge whether the 2050 deadline predicted in multiple domains is realistic, or a convenient focal point around which forecasters simplify their perception of trends.

Once established in the mainstream consciousness, this will be the first step in what we might call DeltaSync’s master plan to rescue Planet Earth. Because, according to Rutger, as goes Rotterdam, so goes the world. Poised to Plunge Today 30 percent of all people live within 100 kilometers (62 miles) of a coast. By 2050, it will be half the human population. At least fifteen of the world’s twenty megacities grow on a coast or river plain. Human enterprise flourishes closest to the fluid medium, where goods flow speedily and cheaply per pound. As great coastal cities gear up the frenzy of international trade, the human race is racing toward many areas that will soon be flooded. Not only will coastal cities soon run out of livable space, but also the resources produced by inland agriculture will eventually not be able to support them.

Vaccari, “Phosphorus Famine: The Threat to Our Food Supply,” Scientific American. June 3, 2009, www.scientificamerican.com/article/phosphorus-a-looming-crisis/. Chelsae Rose Johansen, “Solving ‘The Gravest Natural Resource Shortage You’ve Never Heard Of: Applying Transnational New Governance to the Phosphate Industry,” Vanderbilt Journal of Transnational Law 46 (2013): 933–68. Eighty percent of the world’s expanding megacities . . . More than 1 million people move to cities . . . by 2050, about half of the human population will live within 100 kilometers of a coast: Rutger de Graaf, “Blue Revolution” (inaugural lecture, Rotterdam, November 6, 2012 Netherland, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences), https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T7FqjpG-sI4. balderdash: Vaclav Smil, “Jeremy Grantham, Starving for Facts,” The American, December 5, 2012, www.aei.org/publication/jeremy-grantham-starving-for-facts.


pages: 353 words: 355

The Long Boom: A Vision for the Coming Age of Prosperity by Peter Schwartz, Peter Leyden, Joel Hyatt

American ideology, Asian financial crisis, Berlin Wall, centre right, computer age, crony capitalism, cross-subsidies, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, hydrogen economy, industrial cluster, informal economy, intangible asset, Just-in-time delivery, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, life extension, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, new economy, oil shock, open borders, Productivity paradox, QR code, Ronald Reagan, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, the scientific method, upwardly mobile, Washington Consensus, Y2K

For them, a high-growth global economy is the only possible way of attaining a decent standard of living, or perhaps even a middle-class lifestyle—and if not for them, then for their kids. Walk through the streets of Bombay and watch the thousands, hundreds of thousands—no, millions—of people with outstretched hands begging for anything that will just help them stay alive. And if not in Bombay, then Jakarta or Cairo or Sao Paulo or any of the other dozen megacities that you want to pick. Those cities are all packed with 15 million people or more—half of them barely hanging on—and there are millions more in the countryside who are in even worse shape. What can be done with the 2 billion or so poor people in the world? They're alive, and they're having children. Are they to be told that the global economy is going to stop growing? That their dreams of someday attaining a semblance of a middle-class lifestyle are now absurd?

Morgan—industrialists and financiers erecting a colossal new form of capitalism—and also of the innovators, such as Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, and the Wright brothers. But then, in the second half of the twentieth century, the restless center shifted west once again, to the West Coast of the United States, where the digital revolution and the new knowledge age seem to have found their best expression. For the Long Boom period that we're describing, from 1980 to 2020, the West Coast corridor is ground zero. There's the megacity of Los Angeles, the home of Hollywood, the film and television capital of the world, certainly a place to watch at the beginning of an information age. There's Silicon Valley and the San Francisco Bay Area, home of the new digital tools and the emerging new media of the Internet. In fact, it's the entire coast from Seattle, home of Microsoft, to San Diego, home of key players in wireless telecommunications.

So I'm now pushing the send button with my finger: If I wait another couple more minutes, it might be my forehead as my face hits the keyboard and I'm fast asleep. This page intentionally left blank PART THREE The ENQJNES of ihE TwENTy'fiRST CENTURY HE ONLY WAY TO KEEP the Long Boom going is to figure out Tway to slow and eventually eradicate damage to the environE ment. There is no other option. The environment is already strained to the breaking point, global warming is starting to seriously affect the climate, and many people in the world's megacities are choking to death. A global boom until 2020 would put us all over the edge— unless we do something dramatic right now, Section III lays out the coming waves of technologies that will allow us to grow rapidly while actually lowering the strain on the environment. These are not pie-in-the-sky technologies but practical ones, many of which are far along in development and ready for commercial use.


pages: 307 words: 90,634

Insane Mode: How Elon Musk's Tesla Sparked an Electric Revolution to End the Age of Oil by Hamish McKenzie

Airbnb, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, basic income, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Ben Horowitz, business climate, car-free, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, cleantech, Colonization of Mars, connected car, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, Google Glasses, Hyperloop, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, John Markoff, low earth orbit, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, Nikolai Kondratiev, oil shale / tar sands, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, short selling, side project, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Snapchat, South China Sea, special economic zone, stealth mode startup, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, Tim Cook: Apple, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, urban planning, urban sprawl, Zipcar

BMW’s compact i3, on the other hand, was a product of Europe, where there were condensed urban layouts and short distances between cities, so ninety miles of range was enough to serve most driving needs. In China, by contrast, people were geographically dispersed among hundreds of far-apart but heavily populated cities. China has forty-one cities with more than two million people; more than a dozen cities with a population of more than five million; and five megacities with populations exceeding ten million. Che He Jia’s SEV plan made sense for driving within these cities, but the company needed to come up with something else for driving outside them. Back in the workshop, after I slid out of the buck, Li walked over to a pair of pinboards near the door. He smiled as he showed me sketches of Che He Jia’s second vehicle, a long-range SUV planned for release in 2018.

By the same token, she suggested that any wholesale transition to electric mobility is likely to be lumpy if you look at the issue from a global perspective, where different regions have different problems to solve. Consequently, she thought the internal combustion engine still “has a while” left in its life span. On the other hand, certain parts of the world are ripe for change. “If you start breaking it down more finely, and you start looking at specific megacities or specific city centers, and look at regions that have common issues, you may see a transformation happen in pockets at a much more rapid pace.” The Bolt is a practical car with good handling and a range of 238 miles per charge as assessed by the US Environmental Protection Agency. Some observers, such as the New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo, have suggested that by beating Tesla to market with a long-range mass-market electric car, GM bested the Silicon Valley company at its own game (“How did GM create Tesla’s dream car first?”

But perhaps I felt a sense of imminent loss—that these nostalgic-car meet-ups might be the only way my kids and grandchildren will have any inkling of the automotive era in which I grew up. Even as I knew I had seen the future, I felt stuck in the past. Then, a dark green Model T puttered by, a reminder of how this all started. How much of the world that car changed. The roads, the garages, the urban development, the planned communities, the population mobility, the advent of megacities, the burned oil, the mass production, the new American economy, the eight-hour workday. The Model T had a soul and a momentous story, the story of modern civilization. That story couldn’t have been told without Henry Ford’s invention, in 1913, of the moving assembly line, an innovation that dramatically sped up and reduced the cost of manufacturing the Model T. The moving assembly line brought the price of the Model T down from $850 in 1908 to $360 in 1916, helping to push the vehicles out of the realm of the elite and into the garages of the middle class.


pages: 356 words: 91,157

The New Urban Crisis: How Our Cities Are Increasing Inequality, Deepening Segregation, and Failing the Middle Class?and What We Can Do About It by Richard Florida

affirmative action, Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Sanders, blue-collar work, business climate, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, clean water, Columbine, congestion charging, creative destruction, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, declining real wages, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, East Village, edge city, Edward Glaeser, failed state, Ferguson, Missouri, Gini coefficient, Google bus, high net worth, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kitchen Debate, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, land value tax, low skilled workers, Lyft, megacity, Menlo Park, mortgage tax deduction, Nate Silver, New Economic Geography, new economy, New Urbanism, occupational segregation, Paul Graham, plutocrats, Plutocrats, RAND corporation, rent control, rent-seeking, Richard Florida, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, secular stagnation, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, sovereign wealth fund, superstar cities, the built environment, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, trickle-down economics, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, upwardly mobile, urban decay, urban planning, urban renewal, urban sprawl, white flight, young professional

As many as 8.6 billion of those urbanites will live in the cities of the developing world (many of which have yet to be built), while just 1.2 billion or so will occupy the cities of the advanced nations.5 To put all this into perspective, consider that in 1800 there was only one city in the world whose population exceeded 1 million—Beijing. By 1900, there were 12. By 1950, the number had increased sevenfold, to 83, and by 2005 it had ballooned to 400. Today, there are more than 500. In 1950, there were only two mega-cities that had more than 10 million people: New York and Tokyo. Today, there are 28, and by 2030, there will be 40 or so. By 2150, according to one plausible projection, the world will have perhaps ten mega-cities with between 50 million and 100 million people, and five more with populations exceeding 100 million. The population of the mega-region that spans Delhi, Kolkata, and Dhaka in India could reach 200 million by that time, making it bigger than all but five nations in the world today.6 Profound differences in wealth and productivity divide the less advantaged cities of the developing world from their more affluent counterparts in the advanced nations.

The solution is much the same for the suburban dimension of the New Urban Crisis as it is for the urban one: more and better urbanism. Overcoming the crisis of the suburbs and restoring their economic prosperity requires that suburbs become denser, greener, more mixed-use, and more connected to urban centers via transit. Before we can turn to specific solutions, however, it’s important to understand the fourth and final dimension of the New Urban Crisis, which is playing out in the mega-cities of the most rapidly urbanizing areas of the globe. 9 THE CRISIS OF GLOBAL URBANIZATION In May 2014, I addressed a summit of the United Nations Economic and Social Council, the Integration Segment on Sustainable Urbanization. Among the people sharing the dais with me were Joan Clos, the former mayor of Barcelona and the head of UN-Habitat, the UN agency that deals with cities and human settlements, and Anne Hidalgo, the mayor of Paris, who had campaigned on a platform that promised to fight the city’s rising inequalities and create more affordable housing.

Benjamin Marx, Thomas Stoker, and Tavneet Suri, “The Economics of Slums in the Developing World,” Journal of Economic Perspectives 27, no. 4 (2013): 187–210. 12. On this point, see Edward Glaeser, “A World of Cities: The Causes and Consequences of Urbanization in Poorer Countries,” Paper no. 19745, National Bureau of Economic Research, 2013, www.nber.org/papers/w19745; Richard Florida, “Why So Many Mega-Cities Remain So Poor,” CityLab, January 16, 2014, www.citylab.com/work/2014/01/why-so-many-mega-cities-remain-so-poor/8083. 13. Remi Jedwab and Dietrich Vollrath, “Urbanization Without Growth in Historical Perspective,” Explorations in Economic History 57 (July 2015): 1–94. 14. Ibid.; Richard Florida, “The Problem of Urbanization Without Economic Growth” CityLab, June 12, 2015, www.citylab.com/work/2015/06/the-problem-of-urbanization-without-economic-growth/395648. 15.


pages: 91 words: 26,009

Capitalism: A Ghost Story by Arundhati Roy

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Bretton Woods, corporate governance, feminist movement, Frank Gehry, ghettoisation, Howard Zinn, informal economy, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, means of production, megacity, microcredit, Nelson Mandela, neoliberal agenda, Occupy movement, RAND corporation, reserve currency, special economic zone, spectrum auction, stem cell, The Chicago School, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks

After twenty years of “growth,” 60 percent of India’s workforce is self-employed, and 90 percent of India’s labor force works in the unorganized sector.11 Post-Independence, right up to the 1980s, people’s movements, ranging from the Naxalites to Jayaprakash Narayan’s Sampoorna Kranti, were fighting for land reforms, for the redistribution of land from feudal landlords to landless peasants. Today any talk of redistribution of land or wealth would be considered not just undemocratic but lunatic. Even the most militant movements have been reduced to a fight to hold on to what little land people still have. The millions of landless people, the majority of them Dalits and Adivasis, driven from their villages, living in slums and shanty colonies in small towns and megacities, do not figure even in the radical discourse. As Gush-Up concentrates wealth onto the tip of a shining pin on which our billionaires pirouette, tidal waves of money crash through the institutions of democracy—the courts, the parliament—as well as the media, seriously compromising their ability to function in the ways they are meant to. The noisier the carnival around elections, the less sure we are that democracy really exists.

The Kalpasar dam, which would raise the sea level and alter the ecology of hundreds of kilometers of coastline, was the cause of serious concerns amongst scientists in a 2007 report.23 It has made a sudden comeback in order to supply water to the Dholera Special Investment Region (SIR) in one of the most water-stressed zones not just in India but in the world. SIR is another name for a SEZ, a self-governed corporate dystopia of industrial parks, townships, and megacities. The Dholera SIR is going to be connected to Gujarat’s other cities by a network of ten-lane highways. Where will the money for all this come from? In January 2011 in the Mahatma (Gandhi) Mandir, Gujarat’s Chief Minister Narendra Modi presided over a meeting of ten thousand international businessmen from one hundred countries. According to media reports, they pledged to invest $450 billion in Gujarat.


pages: 692 words: 167,950

The Ripple Effect: The Fate of Fresh Water in the Twenty-First Century by Alex Prud'Homme

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, big-box store, bilateral investment treaty, carbon footprint, clean water, commoditize, corporate raider, Deep Water Horizon, en.wikipedia.org, Exxon Valdez, hydraulic fracturing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Joan Didion, John Snow's cholera map, Louis Pasteur, mass immigration, megacity, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, renewable energy credits, Report Card for America’s Infrastructure, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, urban sprawl, William Langewiesche

See also the History Channel, “Sandhogs”: http://www.thehistorychannel.co.uk/shows/tunnellers/episode-guide.html. 123 tunnel-boring machines: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/pdf/tbmfactsheet.pdf. See also Sewell Chan, “Tunnelers Hit Something Big: A Milestone,” New York Times, August 10, 2006. 123 corruption plagued the Board of Water Supply: Grann, “City of Water.” This was confirmed to me by a source who asked not to be identified. 123 $4 billion to the new tunnel: Chan, “Tunnelers Hit Something Big.” 124 the world had 18 “megacities”: Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Megacity. 124 In 2007, 336 cities worldwide: Ibid., and Thomas Brinkhof, “The Principal Agglomerations of the World,” www.citypopulation.de. 124 in 2008, for the first time in history: UN Population Fund (UNFPA): State of World Population 2007: http://www.unfpa.org/swp/2007/english/introduction.html. 124 As of 2010, China alone had 43 cities: Christina Larson, “Chicago on the Yangtze,” Foreign Policy, September/October 2010. 125 Bruce Rolen: “As supplies dry up, growers pass on farming and sell water,” US Water News Online, February 2008. 125 Perth, Australia: Patrick Barta, “Amid Water Shortage, Australia Looks to the Sea,” Wall Street Journal, March 11, 2008. 125 America’s total water use: Susan S.

As we stepped out of the cage, a fresh crew of sandhogs trooped aboard. There was some jovial shouting, one man made a quick sign of the cross, the cage door slammed shut, and within minutes the men had disappeared down the giant hole. THE URBANIZATION OF WATER While the fragility of its water system is a pressing concern to New York, other large cities face even greater and more immediate hydrological challenges. In 2000, the world had 18 “megacities,” with populations of 5 million to 10 million (depending on different definitions), or more. In 2007, 336 cities worldwide had populations of 1 million or more. According to the UN, in 2008, for the first time in history, more people lived in urban areas than in rural ones. As of 2010, China alone had at least 43 cities with populations greater than 1 million; by 2025, according to Foreign Policy, that number will grow to 221.

But California was in its second year of drought, and questions were being raised about the necessity of LADWP’s dust-mitigation efforts. The project had suffered cost overruns and used sixty thousand acre-feet of water a year, which was worth some $54 million and was enough to supply sixty thousand households. Critics thought the money and water could be better spent elsewhere. By 2009, Los Angeles had become a megacity with 3.8 million residents, in a broad combined statistical area that had swelled to 17.8 million people—thanks in good part to the water drained from Mono County. The city is also hydrated by water from the Sacramento Delta, channeled south by the California Aqueduct, and by the Colorado River, channeled west by the Colorado River Aqueduct. If current growth rates continue, it is estimated that Los Angeles’s population will reach 33 million by 2020.


pages: 469 words: 132,438

Taming the Sun: Innovations to Harness Solar Energy and Power the Planet by Varun Sivaram

addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, bitcoin, blockchain, carbon footprint, cleantech, collateralized debt obligation, Colonization of Mars, decarbonisation, demand response, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, diversified portfolio, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, financial innovation, fixed income, global supply chain, global village, Google Earth, hive mind, hydrogen economy, index fund, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, M-Pesa, market clearing, market design, mass immigration, megacity, mobile money, Negawatt, off grid, oil shock, peer-to-peer lending, performance metric, renewable energy transition, Richard Feynman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, sovereign wealth fund, Tesla Model S, time value of money, undersea cable, wikimedia commons

Chapter 3, “Blocking the Sun,” warns that solar could undercut its own economics, strain power grids, and struggle to displace ubiquitous fossil fuels. It will take innovation in financing and business models, solar technologies, and energy systems for solar to avoid hitting a ceiling and instead reach its potential. Chapter 1    Two Futures The year is 2050, and the world is more polluted, unequal, and dangerous than ever. Megacities like New Delhi, Mexico City, and Lagos are suffocated by smog. More than a billion people around the world still lack access to reliable electricity. And climate change is serving up droughts, floods, and heat waves with alarming regularity. The trouble is that fossil fuels continue to exert a stranglehold on the global economy. Coal and natural gas are still burned to produce most of the world’s electricity and run most of its factories, spewing carbon dioxide and other climate-warming gases into the atmosphere.

It made economic sense to use them to store power for a few hours; but they were too expensive to use for smoothing out the day-to-day variations in solar PV output and certainly for handling the biggest energy storage need: squirreling away surplus solar energy from sunny months for use in gloomier ones. Solar PV’s growth also slowed because countries, especially in the developing world, failed to build out their electricity grids to keep up with the deployment of solar power. For example, India struggled to connect solar farms in distant deserts to its thirsty megacities. And when the government shifted focus to deploying solar panels on building rooftops, ramshackle urban grids buckled under the strain of absorbing sudden surges of solar power.2 Having leveled off, solar’s contribution to the world’s energy needs is respectable but limited today, at the mid-century mark. With the exception of wind power, other clean energy sources have not stepped in to pick up much of the slack.

Today at the mid-century mark, most urban buildings are wrapped in electricity-generating solar materials that tint the windows, enliven the facade, and shrink the carbon footprint. Nearly free electricity has induced heavy industries to switch from burning fossil fuels to running off solar power. Solar PV isn’t just powering glamorous urban buildings or massive industrial plants; PV materials are now light enough to be supported by flimsy shanty roofs in the slum outskirts of megacities in the developing world. And way outside the cities, even the poorest of the poor can easily afford solar power. Abject energy poverty has been eradicated—nearly every person on the planet has access to some electricity—although much work remains to address energy inequality. Still, these wondrous solar PV coatings remain at the mercy of unreliable sunlight. Their trivial cost has helped mitigate this concern, making it economical, for example, to unroll a solar PV carpet over vast swathes of California’s Mojave Desert and throw away excess power in the middle of the day.


pages: 357 words: 99,684

Why It's Still Kicking Off Everywhere: The New Global Revolutions by Paul Mason

anti-globalists, back-to-the-land, balance sheet recession, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, business cycle, capital controls, centre right, citizen journalism, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, do-ocracy, eurozone crisis, Fall of the Berlin Wall, floating exchange rates, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, ghettoisation, illegal immigration, informal economy, land tenure, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mohammed Bouazizi, Naomi Klein, Network effects, New Journalism, Occupy movement, price stability, quantitative easing, race to the bottom, rising living standards, short selling, Slavoj Žižek, Stewart Brand, strikebreaker, union organizing, We are the 99%, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Winter of Discontent, women in the workforce, working poor, working-age population, young professional

The wholesale price is now 32 pesos per kilo—approaching once again its 2008 high of 35 pesos. Ten years ago it was half that. So, without a government subsidy to fix the retail price, Len-len would go hungry. Soon, she will do what tens of millions of the rural poor have done already: leave the land and move to a mega-city to live in a slum and look for work. She will live in a shack just like this, but it will be more cramped, wedged in by others like it. Instead of the viridian and lime of the paddy fields, she will live in a landscape whose colours are predominantly rust and grey. For, horrific as they are, the slums of Manila—as in all the mega-cities of the world—are a makeshift solution to rural poverty. The tunnel dwellers of San Miguel Estero de San Miguel, Manila. There is a long curve of grey water and, along both sides, as far as the eye can see, shacks, trash, washing and grey tin, bits of wood and scraps of cloth, rats and children.

Many dwell in the hidden modern slum—a.k.a. the ‘student house’—where every room contains a bed, or in flats rented in the terraced streets and inner-city neighbourhoods where the unemployed and the ethnic minorities live. Once the housing and jobs markets collapsed, the student house became the young accountant house, the young lawyer, teacher and other struggling professional’s house. At the dance clubs students frequent there’s always some urban poor youth: this is true even in smart American college towns. But in the mega-cities of youth culture—London, Paris, Los Angeles, New York—the cultural proximity is more organic. And in no-hope towns where the college is the only modern thing in the landscape, everyone rubs shoulders in the laundromat, the fast-food joint, the cramped carriages of late-night trains. In North Africa, though many of the college students who led the revolutions were drawn from the elite, you find this same blurring of the edges between the educated youth and the poor.

You cannot go to the toilet without standing in a queue; sex between man and wife has to take place within breathing distance of their kids, and earshot of twenty other families. This is the classic twenty-first-century slum. Across the globe, one billion people live in slums: that is, one in seven human beings. By the year 2050, for all the same reasons that are pushing people like Len-len off the land, that number is set to double. The slum is the filthy secret of the modern mega-city, the hidden consequence of twenty years of untrammelled market forces, greed, neglect and graft. Yet Mena, at my elbow, is feeding me this constant stream of verbal PR-copy: ‘We are happy; there is social cohesion here; only we can organize it like this.’ She’s all too conscious that the Estero de San Miguel has been condemned. The left-liberal government of Benigno ‘NoyNoy’ Aquino has decided to forcibly relocate half a million slum dwellers back to the countryside, and the Estero is at the top of the list.


pages: 391 words: 99,963

The Weather of the Future by Heidi Cullen

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, air freight, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, availability heuristic, back-to-the-land, bank run, California gold rush, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, energy security, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Isaac Newton, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, millennium bug, out of africa, Silicon Valley, smart cities, trade route, urban planning, Y2K

Many will end up in the slums of Dhaka. In the end, of course, it’s always the economy. In rural Bangladesh, the weather is the economy. And if you believe the climate models, the weather will get worse. By 2050, the population of Bangladesh will have grown from about 162 million people today to more than 220 million.6 Today, more than 13 million people live in Dhaka. It’s the fastest-growing megacity in the world. And every year, slightly more than 400,000 people in Bangladesh move to the capital, hoping to find a better life. Nearly 15,000 new cars were sold in Dhaka in 2008, a record high. There may be plenty of people and cars, but there are acute shortages of just about everything else. There are no sidewalks. There is no mass transit system. And right now, there is enough power for only about 35 percent of the population.

When I spoke with Omar Rahman on the telephone, he had been without power for eight hours that day. As he said, comparison with the developed world is detrimental. But nonetheless, when people along the coast who are unable to grow rice or work the nets to catch shrimp fry make the comparison between Dhaka and their own situation, they will still decide that Dhaka holds the keys to a better life. And by 2050, this megacity with very little energy, transportation, and water infrastructure is expected to be the home of more than 40 million people.7 Experts like Rahman worry about how Dhaka will cope with the rapid and unplanned urbanization in Bangladesh. Dhaka is not immune from the problems of geography that plague the rest of Bangladesh. The city is located in the coastal zone and is just as vulnerable as the rest of the zone to floods, storms, and tropical cyclones.

The average Bangladeshi emits about one-third ton of carbon dioxide each year—a lot less than the roughly 20 tons emitted annually by the average American. At the global level, Bangladesh emits less than 0.2 percent of world total. To put that in perspective, the city of New York alone emits about 0.25 percent of the world’s total greenhouse gases. As Rahman says, “Cooking stoves account for almost 20 percent of emissions in Bangladesh. Cooking stoves. This is the level of industrialization we’re talking about.” Rahman still has hopes for megacities; he says that leaders need to start viewing land use and other aspects of city planning as critical components of preparing for climate change. “Properly managed, urbanization can be a good thing,” he said. “Improving urban management is itself an adaptation strategy.” For people in Bangladesh, climate change is not a theoretical, academic, or distant concern. It is a question of survival. It is a question of infrastructure.


pages: 257 words: 64,285

The End of Traffic and the Future of Transport: Second Edition by David Levinson, Kevin Krizek

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Bay Area Rapid Transit, big-box store, Chris Urmson, collaborative consumption, commoditize, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, dematerialisation, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Google Hangouts, Induced demand, intermodal, invention of the printing press, jitney, John Markoff, labor-force participation, lifelogging, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Network effects, Occam's razor, oil shock, place-making, post-work, Ray Kurzweil, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Gordon, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Skype, smart cities, technological singularity, Tesla Model S, the built environment, Thomas Kuhn: the structure of scientific revolutions, transaction costs, transportation-network company, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, urban renewal, women in the workforce, working-age population, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game, Zipcar

But for long trips, this may present a limit on the practicality of electric auto-mobility. 340Anthony Townsend, Rudin Center for Transportation Policy & Management. Re-Programming Mobility: The Digital Transformation of Transportationin the United States, available from: http://reprogrammingmobility.org/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/Re-Programming-Mobility-Report.pdf 341 The Economist: Daily chart Bright lights, big cities: Urbanisation and the rise of the megacity predicts 8.6% of world's population will live in Mega-cities of 10 million or more by 2030, growing at about 1% of the world's population per decade http://www.economist.com/node/21642053?fsrc=scn%2Ftw%2Fte%2Fdc%2Fed%2Fbrightlightsbigcities 342 We do not foresee Segways or Pogo Sticks supplanting feet in most places. 343 Figure A1 Source: MnDOT All Detector Report, Detector 1942 (I-394 near US 169), 2000-11-08, 5-minute counts, ramp meters off. 344 Parthasarathi, Pavithra and David Levinson (2010) Post-Construction Evaluation of Traffic Forecast Accuracy.

Its overall character depends on many moving parts, and primary among them is how quickly forms of innovation take root and the changing density of land use activities. Key aspects of the future will happen on its own, regardless of policy intervention; other dimensions can or will be accelerated by policy intervention. By 2050 an estimated two thirds of the global population will live in cities (10 percent of the world's population will live in 'mega-cities,' larger than 10 million).341 Urban personal transport will be more multi-modal. The appropriate mode, as always will depend on the trip. But technology will change which modes are appropriate for which trips. We imagine different scenarios in different places. For the shortest trips, within and between buildings, on campuses, and in neighborhoods, walking will remain dominant.342 Escalators and elevators will remain as alternatives to staircases, but moving sidewalks are likely to be rare, limited to special environments like airports.


pages: 225 words: 70,180

Humankind: Solidarity With Nonhuman People by Timothy Morton

a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, David Brooks, Georg Cantor, gravity well, invisible hand, means of production, megacity, microbiome, phenotype, planetary scale, Richard Feynman, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Slavoj Žižek, Turing test, wage slave, zero-sum game

Tim Morton is so many more things than just “human.” A street full of people is much more than just a part of a greater whole called “city.” It’s hard to locate contemporary megacities because we keep looking for something that totally incorporates its parts. Towns, villages and other formations are strung together in Java in such a way that only the volcanoes on that massive island prevent them from spreading everywhere. The only limit is a perceived threat to life. The string of dwellings isn’t even a megacity, it’s a hypercity, a city that is hardly a city at all. But precisely because of this less-than-a-city quality, a hypercity is beyond even the colossal size we associate with megacities such as Mexico City. Java’s hypercity and Mexico City are less than the sum of their parts. Parts of them—houses, regions of houses—keep on pouring out of them like ice cubes bursting through the paper bag they made wet.


pages: 1,386 words: 379,115

Judas Unchained by Peter F. Hamilton

car-free, complexity theory, forensic accounting, gravity well, megacity, megastructure, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, planetary scale, trade route, trickle-down economics

The express to EdenBurg leaves in forty minutes.’ ‘Okay, good luck. And I want to know what the planet looks like when you get back.’ * There was a limousine waiting for Renne when she arrived at EdenBurg’s CST station in Rialto, the planet’s megacity. A young man dressed in a smart dark-grey business suit introduced himself as Warren Yves Halgarth, a member of the Halgarth family security force, and her assigned escort. They drove out of the station and into the midday sunlight. Renne had visited all of the Big15 at one time or another. She was always hard pressed to tell the megacities apart. Rialto was a slight exception in that it was sited in a temperate zone, while most of the others favoured tropical locations. Apparently it was an accounting thing. A city that had summers and winters needed different types of civic services to cope with the individual seasons; and Rialto had an impressive snowfall in winter, averaging out at two metres each four-hundred-day year.

Instead of the fission plants the other Big15 used, Heather went in for hydropower on a colossal scale, damning two thirds of the watercourses on the Sybraska, the continent where Rialto was situated. Electricity was delivered to the megacity via superconductor, and Sybraska’s plains drained then irrigated to provide nation-sized tracts of highly productive farmland. Because of the cold months, Rialto favoured monolithic apartment blocks rather than the vast sprawls of individual homes and strip malls found on worlds like StLincoln, Wessex and Augusta. Each district had its core of Manhattan-like skyscrapers and bulky concrete tenements; which were encircled by huge swathes of factories and refineries. The CST station was on the edge of the Saratov district, which was the megacity’s financial and administrative heart, giving it the largest nest of skyscrapers, and also the tallest. The industrial estates radiating outward tended towards the smaller, more sophisticated manufacturing facilities.

Dead-looking scrub bushes were scattered over the slope below and above, their lower trunks buttressed by the conical mounds of nipbug nests. Behind the swathe of arid vegetation were crumbling white walls of enzyme-bonded concrete, scaled by ivy and climbing cacti. Various private roads led off the main track, looping round to gates. For a moment Mark’s imagination painted over the image with long straight driveways of the Highmarsh Valley branching off the main road. It was silent in the Chunatas, the noise of the megacity deflected by the foothills, a condition matching the land behind Randtown. Even the drab brown of the native plants were similar to the weak ochre shadings of boltgrass. But the air here was dryer, tinged with chemicals from the refinery sector ten miles away to the west. And Regulus was a too-bright point of blue-white light in the cloudless sky, still emitting a fierce heat in the late afternoon.


pages: 380 words: 104,841

The Human Age: The World Shaped by Us by Diane Ackerman

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, airport security, Albert Einstein, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, carbon footprint, clean water, dark matter, dematerialisation, double helix, Drosophila, epigenetics, Google Earth, Google Glasses, haute cuisine, Internet of things, Loebner Prize, Louis Pasteur, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microbiome, nuclear winter, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, SETI@home, skunkworks, Skype, stem cell, Stewart Brand, the High Line, theory of mind, urban planning, urban renewal, Whole Earth Catalog

In only the past hundred years, we’ve become an urban species. Today, more than half of humanity, 3.5 billion people, cluster in cities, and scientists predict that by 2050 our cities will enthrall 70 percent of the world’s citizens. The trend is undeniable as the moon, unstoppable as an avalanche. Between 2005 and 2013, China’s urban population skyrocketed from 13 percent to 40 percent, with most people moving from very rural locales to huddled megacities whose streets jingle with chance and temptation. At that pace, by 2030, over half of China’s citizens will live in cities, and instead of farming food locally they’ll import much of it from other nations, paying with the fruits of industry, invention, and manufacturing. That’s already the case in the U.K., where by 1950 a checkerboard of cities embraced 79 percent of the population. By 2030, when the U.K.’s city-dwellers reach 92 percent, it will be a truly urban nation, joining a zodiac of others.

Climate change has become so visible, and wildlife and fresh water so much scarcer, that fewer people are foolish enough to deny the evidence. As we wade into the Anthropocene, we’re trying to reinsert ourselves back into the planet’s ecosystem and good graces. Unlovely as the word “sustainability” may be, it’s sashaying through the media, taking root in schools, and hitting home in all sorts of domiciles, entering the mainstream in both hamlets and megacities. We’re undergoing a revolution in thinking that isn’t a reaction to the Industrial Revolution, nor is it a back-to-the-land movement of the sort that became popular during the Great Depression and again in the 1970s. We might sometimes resemble startled deer in the headlights as we face Earth’s dwindling resources, yet at the same time we’re opening a door to a full-scale sustainability revolution.

As Arctic seam ice shrinks to a record low, undulating orca shipping lanes open up across the pole via the once-fabled Northwest Passage, changing the ecology of the northern ocean. The melt allows the orcas to widen their range and catch more of the white “singing” beluga whales, the canaries of the ocean, and the unicorn-tusked narwhals, two of the orca’s favorite meals. But both the belugas and the narwhals are endangered. How astonishing it is that just one warm-blooded species is causing all this commotion. Creating hives of great megacities and concrete nests that tower into the sky is impressive enough. But removing, relocating, redesigning, and generally vexing and bothering an entire planet full of plants and animals is another magnitude of mischief beyond anything the planet has ever known. The first is just brilliant niche building, something other animals do on a much more modest scale. For instance, beavers fell trees and dam up streams to create ideal ponds for their underwater huts, and in the process some flora and fauna are dislodged.


pages: 529 words: 150,263

The Pandemic Century: One Hundred Years of Panic, Hysteria, and Hubris by Mark Honigsbaum

Asian financial crisis, biofilm, Black Swan, clean water, coronavirus, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, indoor plumbing, Louis Pasteur, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, moral panic, Pearl River Delta, Ronald Reagan, Skype, the built environment, trade route, urban renewal, urban sprawl

“Despite extraordinary advances in medical Science, we cannot be complacent about the threat of infectious diseases,” acknowledged the National Academy of Medicine in a report published just weeks before Zika became a pheic. “The underlying rate of emergence of infectious diseases appears to be increasing.” Why this should be the case—if it is the case—is a matter of ongoing research and conjecture. Certainly urbanization and globalization would appear to be key factors. The mega-cities of Asia, Africa, and South America, like Athens in the time of Thucydides, provide ideal conditions for the amplification and spread of novel pathogens by concentrating large numbers of people in cramped and often unsanitary spaces. Sometimes technology and alterations of the built environment can mitigate the risks that such overcrowding presents for the transfer of pathogens to people. The plague abatement measures in the Mexican quarter of Los Angeles in 1924 may have been brutal and morally questionable (certainly, it is hard to imagine community activists in California tolerating the wholesale demolition of minority neighborhoods and the mass slaughter of squirrels today), but at the time they were effective in removing the threat of plague from downtown Los Angeles and its harbor.

Abumonbazi, 223 achromatic lenses, 37 Acute Communicable Disesase Control, 148–49 Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS), 59, 244 Afghanistan, 226 Africa, 3 AIDS in, 219, 221–29, 225, 232, 233, 363 (see also specific countries) colonialism in, 199, 227–30 disruption of social relations in, 199, 230–31 distrust of foreign medical aid in, 291–93 early cases of AIDS in, 231 Ebola in, 277–85, 286 economic, social, and cultural change in, 199, 227, 230–32 environmental change in, 231–32 globalization and, 227 mass polio vaccination campaigns in, 225 mega-cities in, 362 public health and humanitarian medical initiatives in, 199 African Americans, 27 African horse sickness, 41 agar media, 205, 396n Agent Orange, 170 AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome), 9–10, 193–235, 213 conspiracy theories and, 225–26, 403n cultural causes and factors and, 13–14 as death sentence, 212 early cases of, 221–24, 231 economic, social, and cultural factors, 13–14 economic, social, and cultural factors in, 199–200 as EID, 234 environmental causes and factors and, 13–14, 231–32 as “epidemic of fear,” 213 etiology of, 207, 216, 225 framed as disease of gay lifestyles, 211 hysteria of 1980s, 10 index case for, 218–20, 218n latency and slow onset of, 363 medical technologies and, 199–200, 202, 227–29, 233 as metaphor, 210–11 mother–child transmission of, 220–21 naming of, 198 panic about, 200–201, 211–13 poor public health messaging around, 212–16, 220–21 principal risk groups for, 211, 213, 215, 363 public attitudes toward, 198 sexual transmission of, 197, 199, 217–18 simian versions of, 226–27, 229–30 spillover mechanism from simian to human populations, 226–27 stigmatization of people with, 211, 214–15, 217, 218–21 transmission of, 197, 199, 212, 214–18, 220–21, 222, 232, 402n worldwide spread of, 221 air conditioning systems, 183–85, 189–91, 256, 362 Aldershot, England, 23 All People’s Congress Party, 297 Altino Ventura, 354–56, 357 alveolar macrophages, 185 alveoli, 20, 185 American Expeditionary Force, 18, 25, 29 American Hospital in Paris, 212 American Legion.

See also specific antibiotics discovery of new, 149 drug-resistant microbes and, 365–66 era before, 47 antibody-dependent enhancement (ADE), 60, 347–48 antibody reactions, 259 “antigentic drift,” 55 antiretroviral drugs, 200, 226, 403n antiwar movement, 169–70 arboviruses, 319–24, 326, 330–31, 335, 359 Argentina, 106–8 Argentine National Health Board (Asistencia Publica), 107, 114 Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, 55, 109, 405–6n Armstrong, Charlie, 105–6, 115–17, 118, 120–24, 126, 132, 138–39 Asheville, North Carolina, 31–33 Asia Asian financial crisis of 1998, 266 mega-cities in, 362 Zika in, 326–27 “Asian flu,” 56, 245 Associated Press, 82 AIDS panic and, 213 Ebola and, 296 “parrot fever” pandemic 1929–1930 and, 138 Athenians, 14 Athens, Greece, plague of, 14, 362 Atlanta, Georgia, 300, 302, 303 the Atlanticos, 95 Attaran, Amir, 340 Aureomycin, 142 Avery, Oswald, 22, 35–36, 37, 149 avian influenza, 4, 10, 55–56, 243–48, 250, 257, 274, 284, 367, 381–82n of 1997, 4, 254 H5N1 virus, 59, 405n “multiple reassortants” of, 247 unusual pathology in young adults, 245–46 avian viruses, mutations of, 245–46 avirulence, survival strategy of, 30 Ayer, Massachusetts, 17–18, 19, 28, 33, 47 Aylward, Bruce, 308 Ayres, Constância, 350–51, 352 AZT, 212, 226, 403n Bachmann, Leonard, 155 Bacillus influenzae, 26–27, 34, 35–38, 36–39, 40, 42, 43, 48–49, 58, 113 Bacillus psittacosis, 112–13, 126 bacteria.


pages: 325 words: 73,035

Who's Your City?: How the Creative Economy Is Making Where to Live the Most Important Decision of Your Life by Richard Florida

active measures, assortative mating, barriers to entry, big-box store, blue-collar work, borderless world, BRICs, business climate, Celebration, Florida, correlation coefficient, creative destruction, dark matter, David Brooks, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, deindustrialization, demographic transition, edge city, Edward Glaeser, epigenetics, extreme commuting, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, happiness index / gross national happiness, high net worth, income inequality, industrial cluster, invention of the telegraph, Jane Jacobs, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, low skilled workers, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, Peter Calthorpe, place-making, post-work, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, Robert Gordon, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, urban planning, World Values Survey, young professional

Some of them, such as Dublin, Seoul, and perhaps Singapore and Taipei, are transitioning into places that not only use knowledge but generate it. Most of them, though, function primarily as the manufacturing and service centers of the twenty-first-century global economy. From Guadalajara and Tijuana to Shanghai and the Philippines, they produce the world’s goods, take its calls, and support its innovation engines. • The third group is composed of the megacities of the developing world—with large population concentrations but insufficient economic activity to support their people. Many of these megacities are ravaged by large-scale “global slums” with dense concentrations of homelessness, poverty, and deprivation, high levels of social and political unrest, and little meaningful economic activity.14 These places, increasingly disconnected from the global economy, make it difficult to celebrate what appears to be a level world for a fortunate few

But not all large urban areas qualify as economic megaregions. Many cities in the developing nations are immense but lack the economic clout of megaregions. As Ohmae writes, they “either do not or cannot look to the global economy for solutions to their problems or for the resources to make those solutions work.” Ohmae’s point is important. Population is not tantamount to economic growth. These megacities differ substantially from true megaregions that have large markets, significant economic capacity, substantial innovative activity, and highly skilled talent, on top of large populations. Looking at economic growth and the creation of wealth solely through nation-state data is hugely misleading because national borders are less relevant to where economic activity is located. Money and capital flow to where the returns are greatest, and people move where opportunity lies.


pages: 306 words: 79,537

Prisoners of Geography: Ten Maps That Explain Everything About the World (Politics of Place) by Tim Marshall

9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, anti-communist, Berlin Wall, British Empire, California gold rush, colonial rule, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, drone strike, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Hans Island, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, market fragmentation, megacity, Mercator projection distort size, especially Greenland and Africa, Mikhail Gorbachev, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, trade route, transcontinental railway, Transnistria, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, zero-sum game

The South African National Defense Force has a brigade in the DRC officially under the command of the UN, but it was sent there by its political masters to ensure that South Africa is not left out from the spoils of war in that mineral-rich country. This has brought it into competition with Uganda, Burundi, and Rwanda, which have their own ideas about who should be in charge in the DRC. The Africa of the past was given no choice—its geography shaped it—and then the Europeans engineered most of today’s borders. Now, with its booming populations and developing megacities, it has no choice but to embrace the modern globalized world to which it is so connected. In this, despite all the problems we have seen, it is making huge strides. The same rivers that hampered trade are now harnessed for hydroelectric power. From the earth that struggled to sustain large-scale food production come minerals and oil, making some countries rich even if little of the wealth reaches the people.

North Korea’s ability to successfully miniaturize its nuclear technology and create warheads that could be launched is uncertain, but it is definitely capable, as it already showed in 1950, of a surprise, first-strike, conventional attack. A major concern for South Korea is how close Seoul and the surrounding urban areas are to the border with North Korea. Seoul’s position makes it vulnerable to surprise attacks from its neighbor, whose capital is much farther away and partially protected by mountainous terrain. South Korea’s capital, the megacity of Seoul, lies just thirty-five miles south of the 38th parallel and the DMZ. Almost half of South Korea’s 50 million people live in the greater Seoul region, which is home to much of its industry and financial centers, and it is all within range of North Korean artillery. In the hills above the 148-mile-long DMZ, the North Korean military has an estimated ten thousand artillery pieces. They are well dug in, some in fortified bunkers and caves.

Japan’s history is very different to that of Korea, and the reason for this is partly due to its geography. The Japanese are an island race, with the majority of the 127 million population living mostly on the four large islands that face Korea and Russia across the Sea of Japan, and a minority inhabiting some of the 6,848 smaller islands. The largest of the main islands is Honshu, which includes the biggest megacity in the world, Tokyo, and its 39 million people. At its closest point, Japan is 120 miles from the Eurasian land-mass, which is among the reasons why it has never been successfully invaded. The Chinese are some five hundred miles away across the East China Sea; and although there is Russian territory much closer, the Russian forces are usually far away because of the extremely inhospitable climate and sparse population located across the Sea of Okhotsk.


pages: 280 words: 83,299

Empty Planet: The Shock of Global Population Decline by Darrell Bricker, John Ibbitson

affirmative action, agricultural Revolution, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, Columbian Exchange, commoditize, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, en.wikipedia.org, full employment, gender pay gap, ghettoisation, glass ceiling, global reserve currency, Gunnar Myrdal, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Snow's cholera map, Kibera, knowledge worker, labor-force participation, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, New Urbanism, nuclear winter, off grid, offshore financial centre, out of africa, Potemkin village, purchasing power parity, reserve currency, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, statistical model, Steve Jobs, Steven Pinker, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, transcontinental railway, upwardly mobile, urban planning, working-age population, young professional, zero-sum game

This is a massive change in the human condition, and it’s taking place within a single century. Although most of us live in cities of one million or fewer, the stars of the show are the megacities, with populations of ten million or more. This table lists the ten largest megacities and their population in millions: Tokyo, Japan 38.1 Delhi, India 26.5 Shanghai, China 24.5 Mumbai, India 21.4 São Paulo, Brazil 21.3 Beijing, China 21.2 Mexico City, Mexico 21.2 Osaka, Japan 20.3 Cairo, Egypt 19.1 New York–Newark, United States 18.6279 Only three of these megacities are in the developed world, and two of those are in Japan. And Japan’s population is shrinking. This is no coincidence. As we know, urbanization leads to population decline. At an astonishing 93 percent, Japan is one of the most urbanized societies on earth.


pages: 405 words: 121,999

The Human Tide: How Population Shaped the Modern World by Paul Morland

active measures, agricultural Revolution, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, clean water, Corn Laws, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Donald Trump, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, feminist movement, global pandemic, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Nelson Mandela, Ponzi scheme, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, sceptred isle, stakhanovite, Thomas Malthus, transatlantic slave trade, women in the workforce, working-age population

The UN medium fertility projection has Nigeria’s population at around 800 million by the end of the current century. If that turns out to be the case, Nigeria would have gone in the space of a century and a half from being 1.5% of the world’s population to 7%. Meanwhile, Nigeria has urbanised rapidly. Lagos has seen a rise in population from 1.5 million in 1970 to over 20 million forty-five years on. Life in this mega-city, as in other African mega-cities, is not attractive from the perspective of someone from a developed country. As one correspondent describes it: A thick layer of acrid, blue smoke hovers just above the waterfront slums that skirt Lagos lagoon, filtering out sunrise and sunset. This man-made mist that clings to the rusted shack rooftops comes from the countless fish-smoking cabins that drive the slum economy.

There’s an uninterrupted view of the city’s dramatic sprawl of poverty from the road bridges that carry daily commuters between the islands and the mainland.34 Yet the rural poor keep coming, escaping the more grinding prospect of rural poverty in an ever-more crowded countryside. Few would have guessed that one-time colonial outposts would by the dawn of the twenty-first century dwarf the capital of the imperial metropolis. Lagos is foremost of the mega-cities which are now dotted not only across Africa but throughout the developing world and which could only have come into existence with the recent vast population growth, which the countryside was unable to absorb. As with India and China, countries growing on this demographic scale can only fail to be important players on the world stage if they lag behind. Nigeria has many challenges, but its economy has certainly started to stir.

In the middle of the twentieth century, after centuries of being sidelined, colonised and subject to slavery, sub-Saharan Africans accounted for barely one person in ten on the planet; by the end of this century they are likely to account for one person in four. With Africa still poor and young, the pressure of migration to Europe will be strong. To date, most African population growth can be seen arising from people pouring into towns and cities. Once prosperity gets above a certain level, however, the prospect of looking further afield than the nearest mega-city for economic salvation becomes more realistic. Beyond Imagination The world has changed at a frantic pace in the last few centuries, and the trend only appears to be accelerating. Much of this has to do with technology but it also has to do with demography, for the two are interdependent. Just as a world of European domination was unimaginable without the expansion of populations of European origin, so their contraction will inevitably have a global impact.


pages: 326 words: 48,727

Hot: Living Through the Next Fifty Years on Earth by Mark Hertsgaard

addicted to oil, Berlin Wall, business continuity plan, carbon footprint, clean water, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, decarbonisation, defense in depth, en.wikipedia.org, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fixed income, food miles, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Kickstarter, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, peak oil, Port of Oakland, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, the built environment, transatlantic slave trade, transit-oriented development, University of East Anglia, urban planning

Three feet of sea level rise will gravely affect an estimated 145 million people around the world, most of them in Asia. The world's chief financial capitals—New York, London, and Tokyo—are all highly vulnerable, thanks to their low-lying waterfront locations. I visited each of those cities for this book, as well as Shanghai, the epicenter of Chinese capitalism, where three feet of sea level rise would put a third of the city underwater. Mega-cities located in poor countries would be equally pressed and much less able to adapt; Manila, Jakarta, and Dhaka are the three considered most at risk in Asia. In the United States, a mere two feet of sea level rise would put 2,200 miles of roads in Washington, DC, Virginia, Maryland, and North Carolina at risk of regular inundation, according to a 2009 report by the U.S. Geological Survey, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and the Department of Transportation.

John Holmes, the UN's coordinator of emergency disaster relief, reported that fourteen of the fifteen major relief operations that his team mounted in 2007 were in response to floods, storms, and other climate-related events. In 2008, nine out of ten major disasters were weather-related, causing up to $200 billion of damage. Yet neither governments, businesses, nor citizens were heeding the warnings, said Holmes, who added, "The risks of mega-disasters in some ... mega-cities is rising all the time." The humanitarian organization Oxfam has projected that extreme weather could affect 375 million people a year by 2015, and the international relief system "could be overwhelmed." As always with climate change, it is the poor and vulnerable who figure to be hurt most. The human suffering and social havoc that engulfed New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina show what can happen when a community's defenses against mega-storms are inadequate, which many are, especially in poor countries.

Perhaps the most vivid—and economically reckless—example is in Shanghai, where a combination of sea level rise and fiercer river and ocean flooding threatens the business capital of China with a disaster that a senior government scientist warned would be as bad as or worse than what New Orleans suffered from Katrina. Not until the morning I left Shanghai did I fully grasp how vulnerable the city is to climate change. Shanghai is the one Chinese mega-city I had missed while visiting in 1997 for Earth Odyssey, so it was a revelation to see it now. Shanghai was even richer than I had imagined—its streets choked with traffic jams of Mercedeses and BMWs, its shopping districts boasting top-end brands from Europe and the States, its downtown crowded with skyscrapers housing some of the world's biggest companies, all of them intent on riding the magic carpet of endless economic growth that is modern China.


pages: 292 words: 92,588

The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World by Jeff Goodell

Airbnb, carbon footprint, centre right, clean water, creative destruction, desegregation, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, failed state, fixed income, Frank Gehry, global pandemic, Google Earth, illegal immigration, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), megacity, Murano, Venice glass, New Urbanism, Pearl River Delta, Peter Thiel, planetary scale, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Florida, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, urban planning, urban renewal, wikimedia commons

“And that is a very big challenge.” 10. CLIMATE APARTHEID NOBODY KNOWS FOR sure how many people live in Lagos, Nigeria. The United Nations’ official count is 13 million, but Lagos officials say it’s closer to 21 million. When you are in line at the city’s prehistoric airport, it feels like 30 million. Whatever the most accurate number is, everyone agrees that Lagos is one of the fastest-growing megacities in the world, with a growth rate ten times faster than New York or LA. It is also a city that is sharply divided between rich and poor. About 70 percent of the population lives on $1.25 a day or less, while the top 2 or 3 percent live behind walls in Beverly Hills–like estates. A good percentage of those people made their money in oil. Nigeria has by far the largest oil industry in Africa, producing, on average, about two million barrels of crude a day.

When it is finished (or, more accurately, if it is finished—the devaluation of Nigerian currency, as well as other economic factors, has put its future in doubt), Eko Atlantic will encompass more than three square miles of new land, where, developers hope, 300,000 prosperous and technologically sophisticated people will live in sleek modern condos, fully equipped with fiber-optic Internet connections, elaborate security systems, and a twenty-five-foot-high seawall protecting them from the attacking ocean. It’s a shiny new appendage to a megacity slum, one that sells itself as a new vision of Lagos—the Dubai of Africa. What’s happening in Lagos is part of a larger trend of combating sea-level rise with old-fashioned engineering muscle. On coasts and in shallow bays around the world, enormous dredging machines are pumping sand and gravel out of the bottom of the sea and creating new land. You can see it in the South China Sea, where China is rapidly turning coral reefs into islands to support military bases, airstrips, and port facilities.

Below, workers were putting finishing touches on an Olympic-size swimming pool. “We want to redefine how Lagos lives,” Omenai explained. “This is the new Lagos.” I looked back at the old Lagos and thought of the millions of people who live there in shacks and cheap concrete buildings that flood with every high tide. I wondered how safe I would feel up here on a leather couch on the nineteenth floor as old Lagos drowns. When it comes to megacities with the most at risk from sea-level rise, Lagos doesn’t crack the top ten in potential economic losses. Guangzhou, Shanghai, Kolkata, Mumbai, and other Asian cities are at the top of the list. Lagos doesn’t rank with these cities because, in strict economic terms, the infrastructure along the coast isn’t worth much compared to a place like Shanghai. But economic losses are only one way of thinking about the consequences of sea-level rise.


pages: 330 words: 91,805

Peers Inc: How People and Platforms Are Inventing the Collaborative Economy and Reinventing Capitalism by Robin Chase

Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Andy Kessler, banking crisis, barriers to entry, basic income, Benevolent Dictator For Life (BDFL), bitcoin, blockchain, Burning Man, business climate, call centre, car-free, cloud computing, collaborative consumption, collaborative economy, collective bargaining, commoditize, congestion charging, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, decarbonisation, different worldview, do-ocracy, don't be evil, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Ethereum, ethereum blockchain, Ferguson, Missouri, Firefox, frictionless, Gini coefficient, hive mind, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, Jane Jacobs, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, job satisfaction, Kickstarter, Lean Startup, Lyft, means of production, megacity, Minecraft, minimum viable product, Network effects, new economy, Oculus Rift, openstreetmap, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, peer-to-peer lending, peer-to-peer model, Richard Stallman, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Satoshi Nakamoto, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, shareholder value, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, six sigma, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, Snapchat, sovereign wealth fund, Steve Crocker, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, TaskRabbit, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Nature of the Firm, transaction costs, Turing test, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Zipcar

The Peers Inc organization can produce previously impossible growth, unprecedented acceleration of learning and innovation, and the powerful joining of human experience, adaptability, and pattern recognition with supercomputing. The three miracles potentially provide us a way forward through climate change, resource scarcity, and explosive population growth. They also produce some rewarding business opportunities along the way. We can, in fact, make megacities livable and address the needs of the more than seven billion people now on the planet (a figure expected to grow to eleven billion by 2050) through more efficient use of our resources. We can enable people to build satisfying lives in which their individuality is valued. We can quickly build resilient cities with the localized responses required to deflect the worst effects of global warming.

I recently talked to a CEO of a telecommunications company that had been sitting on a technology improvement that would not only dramatically reduce the company’s costs and improve customer service but do so by reducing the company’s workforce by 40,000 people. Self-driving vehicles, which are coming much faster than people realize, will take away the need for drivers around the world. This will be painful everywhere, but devastating in megacities such as Mumbai and Lagos, where millions of people earn their living from driving. The least skilled and the least educated will likely not find new full-time employment. Even with the optimistic and inevitable forecasts that new technologies will open up new economic frontiers, we all know the difficult truth: In real time in defined geographies, job losses do not equal job gains one for one.

Together we can engage millions of people to accomplish very big things, providing significant public benefits while retaining the rule-making governance and even ownership of the platforms within the creator communities. TEN Addressing Our Biggest Challenges Climate Change and Sustainability Need Peers Inc THE PEERS INC PARADIGM fascinates me not just because it’s shaping the future of business. What is more important is that we’ve figured out what this model is and how it works exactly at our time of greatest need. The earth currently has 7 billion inhabitants, thirty megacities whose populations exceed 10 million, hundreds of cities harboring over a million inhabitants, and all the problems that come with urbanization—poverty, homelessness, congestion, and pollution. Add to this projections of a global average temperature increase of 4°C (7°F) by 2100 and population estimates as high as 11 billion.1 If we continue with business as usual and leave these problems unaddressed, the future looks bleak.


pages: 1,293 words: 357,735

The Coming Plague: Newly Emerging Diseases in a World Out of Balance by Laurie Garrett

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, biofilm, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, clean water, correlation does not imply causation, discovery of penicillin, double helix, European colonialism, Fall of the Berlin Wall, germ theory of disease, global pandemic, global village, indoor plumbing, invention of air conditioning, John Snow's cholera map, land reform, Live Aid, Louis Pasteur, Marshall McLuhan, mass incarceration, megacity, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, phenotype, price mechanism, Ralph Nader, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, South China Sea, the scientific method, trade route, transfer pricing, upwardly mobile, urban renewal, urban sprawl, Zimmermann PGP

By 1985 there were 750 million, and that figure was expected to top 1.3 billion by 2000.34 Worldwide, the percentage of human beings living in cities showed a steady climb, and from less than 15 percent in 1900, was expected to exceed 50 percent by 2010.35 About 60 percent of this extraordinary urban growth was due to babies born in the cities; 40 percent of the new urbanites were young adult rural migrants or immigrants moving from poor countries to the large cities of wealthier nations.36 The most dramatic rural/urban shifts were occurring in Africa and South Asia, where tidal waves of people poured continuously into the cities throughout the latter half of the twentieth century. Some cities in these regions doubled in size in a single decade.37 The bulk of this massive human population surge occurred in a handful of so-called megacities—urban centers inhabited by more than 10 million people. In 1950 there were two megacities: New York and London. Both had attained their awesome size in less than five decades, growing by just under 2 million people each decade. Though the growth was difficult and posed endless problems for city planners, the nations were wealthy, able to finance the necessary expansion of such services as housing, sewage, drinking water, and transport. By 1980, however, the world had ten megacities: Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo, Mexico City, Los Angeles, New York, Beijing, Shanghai, Tokyo, and London. And even wealthy Tokyo found it difficult to accommodate the needs of its new population, which grew from a mere 6.7 million in 1950 to 20 million in 1980.

The worms invaded numerous organs of the human body—the worst cases involving infections of the brain. But Brinkmann noted that a change in the human/parasite relationship was occurring in Mexico City—then the world’s fastest-growing megacity. People were not getting the worms from uncooked meats, which, as it turned out, they couldn’t afford to purchase. Rather, the parasite had taken advantage of the highly favorable ecology provided by the extraordinarily polluted Tula River, the city’s primary freshwater source. Tens of thousands of people living in the squalid outskirts of the megacity downstream of the urban center’s sewage system were infected with the dangerous Taenia solium parasites.49 By 1980 the tapeworm had found its way to Los Angeles, carried by human immigrants from Asia and Central America.

For three days scientists presented evidence that validated McNeill’s words of foreboding: viruses were mutating at rapid rates; seals were dying in great plagues as the researchers convened; more than 90 percent of the rabbits of Australia died in a single year following the introduction of a new virus to the land; great influenza pandemics were sweeping through the animal world; the Andromeda strain nearly surfaced in Africa in the form of Ebola virus; megacities were arising in the developing world, creating niches from which “virtually anything might arise”; rain forests were being destroyed, forcing disease-carrying animals and insects into areas of human habitation and raising the very real possibility that lethal, mysterious microbes would, for the first time, infect humanity on a large scale and imperil the survival of the human race. As a member of a younger generation trained in an era of confident, curative medicine and minimal concern for infectious diseases, I experienced such discussion as the stuff of Michael Crichton novels rather than empiric scientific discourse.


pages: 393 words: 91,257

The Coming of Neo-Feudalism: A Warning to the Global Middle Class by Joel Kotkin

Admiral Zheng, Andy Kessler, autonomous vehicles, basic income, Bernie Sanders, call centre, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, carbon footprint, Cass Sunstein, clean water, creative destruction, deindustrialization, demographic transition, don't be evil, Donald Trump, edge city, Elon Musk, European colonialism, financial independence, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, gig economy, Gini coefficient, Google bus, guest worker program, Hans Rosling, housing crisis, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job satisfaction, Joseph Schumpeter, land reform, liberal capitalism, life extension, low skilled workers, Lyft, Mark Zuckerberg, market fundamentalism, Martin Wolf, mass immigration, megacity, Nate Silver, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, Parag Khanna, Peter Thiel, plutocrats, Plutocrats, post-industrial society, post-work, postindustrial economy, postnationalism / post nation state, precariat, profit motive, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, rent control, Richard Florida, road to serfdom, Robert Gordon, Sam Altman, Satyajit Das, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, Steve Jobs, Stewart Brand, superstar cities, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Future of Employment, The Rise and Fall of American Growth, Thomas L Friedman, too big to fail, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, universal basic income, unpaid internship, upwardly mobile, We are the 99%, Wolfgang Streeck, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator

Under hukou, those who do not have the hereditary right of urban residency will always have an inferior, unprotected status even if they seek opportunity in the city.8 Among the most common themes in contemporary Chinese science fiction is rigid class divisions in the urban world. Hao Jingfang’s “Folding Beijing,” for example, portrays a megacity divided into sharply delineated communities for the elite, the middle ranks, and a vast poor population living mainly by recycling the waste generated by the city.9 This vision represents a shocking divergence from the Maoist ideal. The Polarized Global City Despite their population growth and economic dynamism, the sprawling megacities of the developing world have not nurtured a substantial middle class.10 Power and money tend to be highly concentrated in a handful of elite urban districts, while opportunities for the middle and working classes are limited. A century after the Mexican Revolution, Mexico City is still composed of a few rich neighborhoods and numerous slumlike communities such as Ciudad Nezauhualcoyotl, where upwards of two million people live in ramshackle dwellings.11 In many countries, such as India, the oligarchy and well-connected professionals concentrate in and around the urban core, while migration from the countryside only adds to the slum population.

BBC, September 13, 2018, https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-45419466. 40 Raheem Kassam, “Trump Is Right: Sadiq Khan Is a Stone Cold Loser,” Human Events, June 3, 2019, https://humanevents.com/2019/06/03/trump-is-right-sadiq-khan-is-a-stone-cold-loser/; Justin Fox, “Why London Has More Crime Than New York,” Bloomberg, June 19, 2018, https://www.bloomberg.com/opinion/articles/2018-06-19/why-london-has-more-crime-than-new-york. 41 Center for Opportunity Urbanism, Beyond Gentrification: Towards More Equitable Growth, January 2019, https://opportunityurbanism.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/01/Toward-More-Equitable-Urban-Growth.pdf. 42 Jane Jacobs, Dark Age Ahead (New York: Random House, 2005), 37. 43 Aaron M. Renn, “Caterpillar’s HQ Move to Chicago Shows America’s Double Divide,” Urbanophile, January 31, 2017, http://www.urbanophile.com/2017/01/31/caterpillars-hq-move-to-chicago-shows-americas-double-divide/; Emily Badger, “What Happens When the Richest U.S. Cities Turn to the World?” New York Times, December 22, 2017, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/12/22/upshot/the-great-disconnect-megacities-go-global-but-lose-local-links.html. 44 Aaron M. Renn, “Population Transformation in Pittsburgh and Chicago,” New Geography, April 13, 2018, http://www.newgeography.com/content/005937-population-transformation-pittsburgh-and-chicago. 45 UCL Urban Laboratory, “How Ruth Glass shaped the way we approach our cities,” University College London, January 13, 2015, http://www.ucl.ac.uk/urbanlab/news/ruth-glass-seminar. 46 Karen J.


Britannia Unchained: Global Lessons for Growth and Prosperity by Kwasi Kwarteng, Priti Patel, Dominic Raab, Chris Skidmore, Elizabeth Truss

Airbnb, banking crisis, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, clockwatching, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, demographic dividend, Edward Glaeser, eurozone crisis, fear of failure, glass ceiling, informal economy, James Dyson, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, long peace, margin call, Mark Zuckerberg, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, Neil Kinnock, new economy, North Sea oil, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, pension reform, price stability, profit motive, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, Silicon Valley, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, Walter Mischel, wealth creators, Winter of Discontent, working-age population, Yom Kippur War

id=10347 4. http://news.xinhuanet.com/english2010/indepth/2010-10/02/c_13540088. htm 5. http://aiesecubc.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/brazil/ 6. http://coa.counciloftheamericas.org/articles/3871/Brazil%E2%80%99s_ President:_Dilma_Rousseff%E2%80%99s_First_Year/ 7. http://aiesecubc.wordpress.com/2010/11/14/brazil/ 8. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-16332115 9. http://www.businessweek.com/bwdaily/dnflash/content/nov2007/ db20071115_045316.htm 10. http://www.economist.com/blogs/newsbook/2010/07/brazils_prospects 11. http://www.forbes.com/forbes/2011/0509/global-2000-11-edward-glaeserslums-dharavi-lands-opportunity_2.html 130 Britannia Unchained 12. http://www.forbes.com/sites/megacities/2011/04/08/curfew-in-the-favela/ 13. http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/12/coming-up-from-the-favelas-brazilsslumdog-entrepreneurs/ 14. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/nov/13/brazil-troops-raidshantytown 15. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-15710719 16. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/southamerica/brazil/8890151/ Rio-plans-to-pacify-dozens-more-favelas.html 17. http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldclass/16705801 18. http://www.forbes.com/sites/megacities/2011/04/19/favela-fashionovercoming-business-challenges/ 19. http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/08/making-lemonade-out-of-bureaucraticbrazilian-lemons/ 20. http://techcrunch.com/2010/05/08/making-lemonade-out-of-bureaucraticbrazilian-lemons/ 21. http://quererempreender.blogspot.co.uk/2009/03/edivan-fundador-da-sedi. html 22. http://www.forbes.com/sites/julieruvolo/2012/01/23/bye-bye-brazilianblowouts-the-next-big-brazilian-hair-trend-is-beleza-natural/ 23. http://www.endeavor.org/entrepreneurs/leila-velez/97 24. http://www.economist.com/node/21528985 25. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-11477974 26. http://www.economist.com/node/21528985 27. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/71352352-112c-11e1-ad22-00144feabdc0. html#axzz1kGsfWbFB 28. http://www.guardian.co.uk/news/datablog/2011/oct/10/world-murder-rateunodc 29. http://www.economist.com/node/21528985 30. http://www.pisa.oecd.org/dataoecd/54/12/46643496.pdf 31. http://www.reuters.com/article/2011/10/31/us-foxconn-brazil-id USTRE79T17C20111031 32.


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Physics of the Future: How Science Will Shape Human Destiny and Our Daily Lives by the Year 2100 by Michio Kaku

agricultural Revolution, AI winter, Albert Einstein, Asilomar, augmented reality, Bill Joy: nanobots, bioinformatics, blue-collar work, British Empire, Brownian motion, cloud computing, Colonization of Mars, DARPA: Urban Challenge, delayed gratification, double helix, Douglas Hofstadter, en.wikipedia.org, friendly AI, Gödel, Escher, Bach, hydrogen economy, I think there is a world market for maybe five computers, industrial robot, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of movable type, invention of the telescope, Isaac Newton, John Markoff, John von Neumann, life extension, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, Mars Rover, mass immigration, megacity, Mitch Kapor, Murray Gell-Mann, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, optical character recognition, pattern recognition, planetary scale, postindustrial economy, Ray Kurzweil, refrigerator car, Richard Feynman, Rodney Brooks, Ronald Reagan, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Silicon Valley, Simon Singh, social intelligence, speech recognition, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, telepresence, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas L Friedman, Thomas Malthus, trade route, Turing machine, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Wall-E, Walter Mischel, Whole Earth Review, X Prize

Even where the population explosion is expected to be the largest, in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, the birthrate has been falling, for several reasons. First, you have the rapid urbanization of the peasant population, as farmers leave their ancestral lands to try their luck in the megacities. In 1800, only 3 percent of the population lived in cities. By the end of the twentieth century, that figure rose to 47 percent, and it is expected to soar above that in the coming decades. The expense of child rearing in the city drastically reduces the number of children in a family. With rents, food, and expenses being so high, workers in the slums of the megacities perform the same calculus and conclude that each child reduces their wealth. Second, as countries industrialize, as in China and India, this creates a middle class that wants fewer children, as in the industrialized West.

People flock to foreign sites in record numbers, making tourism one of the fastest-growing industries on the planet. Shoppers flood the stores, in spite of economic hard times. Instead of proliferating cyberclassrooms, universities are still registering record numbers of students. To be sure, there are more people deciding to work from their homes or teleconference with their coworkers, but cities have not emptied at all. Instead, they have morphed into sprawling megacities. Today, it is easy to carry on video conversations on the Internet, but most people tend to be reluctant to be filmed, preferring face-to-face meetings. And of course, the Internet has changed the entire media landscape, as media giants puzzle over how to earn revenue on the Internet. But it is not even close to wiping out TV, radio, and live theater. The lights of Broadway still glow as brightly as before.

The stars are not twinkling, as they appear from the earth, but staring brightly, as they have for billions of years. The elevator slowly comes to a stop about 100 miles from the surface of the earth. From space, you see a dazzling sight that you previously saw only in pictures. Looking down, you suddenly see the earth in an entirely new light. You see the oceans, the continents, and the lights of megacities that shine into outer space. From space, the earth appears so serene that it’s hard to believe people once spilled blood fighting wars over silly borders. These nations still exist, but they seem so quaint, less relevant today, in an age when communication is instantaneous and ubiquitous. As Karen puts her head on your shoulder, you begin to realize that you are witnessing the birth of a new planetary civilization.


pages: 537 words: 158,544

Second World: Empires and Influence in the New Global Order by Parag Khanna

"Robert Solow", Admiral Zheng, affirmative action, anti-communist, Asian financial crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, Branko Milanovic, British Empire, call centre, capital controls, central bank independence, cognitive dissonance, colonial rule, complexity theory, continuation of politics by other means, crony capitalism, Deng Xiaoping, different worldview, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, flex fuel, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, friendly fire, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, global supply chain, haute couture, Hernando de Soto, illegal immigration, income inequality, informal economy, invisible hand, Islamic Golden Age, Khyber Pass, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, land reform, low cost airline, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Monroe Doctrine, Nelson Mandela, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open borders, open economy, Parag Khanna, Pax Mongolica, Pearl River Delta, pirate software, Plutonomy: Buying Luxury, Explaining Global Imbalances, Potemkin village, price stability, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, South China Sea, special economic zone, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Thomas L Friedman, trade route, trickle-down economics, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce

The average lifespan in Brazil’s north is a full seventeen years less than in the south. Human trafficking flourishes amid such economic disparity, with rural women serving as sex slaves in cities and urban men working as bonded laborers in Amazonian gold mines. Most schools do not have phone lines, let alone Internet connections. In a country that is three-quarters urban, São Paulo has grown into something beyond mega-city sprawl: it is a well-nigh infinite city, with a population that can neither be contained nor measured. Its countless steel-gated apartment complexes are, in effect, high-rise favelas for those who can afford housing. São Paulo’s Rua Oscar Freire has been rated one of the world’s top luxury shopping streets, and wealthy Paulistanos boast the highest rate of private helicopter usage in the world—but at chic restaurants, women make sure to have their purses bound with wire to their chairs.

.*43 This Saudi social apotheosis is occurring just as the country is getting a second chance to climb into the first world. During the 1970s oil boom, no Gulf states created significant manufacturing or service sectors to employ the growing ranks of city dwellers who became what Fouad Ajami called the “angry sons of a failed generation.”23 And if high Saudi birthrates continue, Riyadh could become a megacity of ten million mostly underutilized citizens. Riyadh’s ministry buildings are still dilapidated, and the city is but a cleaner version of Cairo. But this time around, Saudi Arabia is globalization-savvy, bringing in international banks and consultants to modernize smartly.24 It has the space, labor, and money to construct four entirely new industrial cities as tax-free reexport zones that create jobs while spreading the population away from dense Riyadh and Jeddah to reverse the inward migration that also plagues third-world countries.

Each is so powerful that they are better understood as “region-states,” cities that operate like business units, as connected to the global economy as their own countries, while increasingly linked into a growing Asian network of economic nodes irrespective of political and cultural distinctions.23 Asia also has more than half the world’s megalopolises, which are home to most of Southeast Asia’s five hundred million people. Third-world mega-cities in Africa and India contain bustling downtowns surrounded by rings and pockets of residential and squatter neighborhoods as far as the eye can see. As villages rapidly depopulate, urbanization means not modernization and development but squalor and depravity. Southeast Asia today is rising out of this third-world scenario as its per capita income rises above $3,000 and the poverty rate falls below 25 percent.


pages: 474 words: 120,801

The End of Power: From Boardrooms to Battlefields and Churches to States, Why Being in Charge Isn’t What It Used to Be by Moises Naim

additive manufacturing, barriers to entry, Berlin Wall, bilateral investment treaty, business cycle, business process, business process outsourcing, call centre, citizen journalism, Clayton Christensen, clean water, collapse of Lehman Brothers, collective bargaining, colonial rule, conceptual framework, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, deskilling, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, don't be evil, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial deregulation, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, illegal immigration, immigration reform, income inequality, income per capita, intangible asset, intermodal, invisible hand, job-hopping, Joseph Schumpeter, Julian Assange, Kickstarter, liberation theology, Martin Wolf, mega-rich, megacity, Naomi Klein, Nate Silver, new economy, Northern Rock, Occupy movement, open borders, open economy, Peace of Westphalia, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, price stability, private military company, profit maximization, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, Skype, Steve Jobs, The Nature of the Firm, Thomas Malthus, too big to fail, trade route, transaction costs, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

Castañeda and Douglas S. Massey, “Do-it-Yourself Immigration Reform,” New York Times, June 1, 2012. 11. The figures on remittances are quoted from the World Bank Development Indicators Database (2011 edition). 12. Dean Yang, “Migrant Remittances,” in Journal of Economic Perspectives 25, no. 3 (Summer 2011), pp. 129–152 at p. 130. 13. Richard Dobbs, “Megacities,” Foreign Policy, September–October 2010, http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2010/08/16/prime_numbers_megacities. 14. The National Intelligence Council, Office of the Director of National Intelligence, “Global Trends 2030: Alternative Worlds” (Washington, DC, 2012). 15. Saxenian, The New Argonauts: Regional Advantage in a Global Economy. 16. The figures on tourist arrivals are from the World Bank’s World Development Indicators Database (2011 edition). 17.

PERHAPS THE MOST AGGRESSIVELY POWER-TRANSFORMING ASPECT OF the Mobility revolution is urbanization. What was already the fastest process of urbanization in history is accelerating, especially in Asia. More people have moved, and continue to move, from farms to cities than ever before. In 2007, for the first time in history, more people lived in cities than in rural areas. Richard Dobbs describes the immense scale of this transformation as follows: “The megacity will be home to China’s and India’s growing middle classes—creating consumer markets larger than today’s Japan and Spain, respectively.”13 The US National Intelligence Council reckons that “every year 65 million people are added to the world’s urban population, equivalent to adding seven cities the size of Chicago or five the size of London annually.”14 The consequences of this revolution for the distribution of power are just as intense internally; indeed, an increasing number of people are spending and investing in two (or more) countries at the same time.


pages: 523 words: 111,615

The Economics of Enough: How to Run the Economy as if the Future Matters by Diane Coyle

"Robert Solow", accounting loophole / creative accounting, affirmative action, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bonus culture, Branko Milanovic, BRICs, business cycle, call centre, Cass Sunstein, central bank independence, collapse of Lehman Brothers, conceptual framework, corporate governance, correlation does not imply causation, Credit Default Swap, deindustrialization, demographic transition, Diane Coyle, different worldview, disintermediation, Edward Glaeser, endogenous growth, Eugene Fama: efficient market hypothesis, experimental economics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Financial Instability Hypothesis, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, George Akerlof, Gini coefficient, global supply chain, Gordon Gekko, greed is good, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, Hyman Minsky, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, illegal immigration, income inequality, income per capita, industrial cluster, information asymmetry, intangible asset, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Arrow, Kenneth Rogoff, knowledge economy, light touch regulation, low skilled workers, market bubble, market design, market fundamentalism, megacity, Network effects, new economy, night-watchman state, Northern Rock, oil shock, Pareto efficiency, principal–agent problem, profit motive, purchasing power parity, railway mania, rising living standards, Ronald Reagan, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), Silicon Valley, South Sea Bubble, Steven Pinker, The Design of Experiments, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Market for Lemons, The Myth of the Rational Market, The Spirit Level, transaction costs, transfer pricing, tulip mania, ultimatum game, University of East Anglia, web application, web of trust, winner-take-all economy, World Values Survey, zero-sum game

The technological and social changes that have given us a globalized and weightless economy are placing immense new pressures on social ties, and I describe what some of these pressures are. The structural changes in the economy resulting from new technologies have increased the importance of trust. A high value economy is a high trust one. At the same time, though, the structural changes taking place in the global economy make building trust difficult and indeed create some social fragility. The simultaneous strengths and social tensions are apparent for example in the megacities that are hubs of the global economy. Trust is built by and expressed in the institutions that govern the economy and society. As I go on to describe, many of the institutions we have at present, in all their variety right up to the international organizations responsible for the global economy, are not up to bearing the new pressures. This book isn’t the place for a thorough exploration of the role and inadequacies of economic governance, a huge subject.

Most have pockets of seemingly intractable poverty and crime, while some seem to be irredeemably scarred by social disorder and crime. They are the hubs of global multinational enterprises, centers of the drugs and people trafficking trades. Yet other parts of many huge global cities are astonishingly peaceful and civilized given the number and variety of people living and working in them, and the strains of urban life in a megacity. The level of trust prevailing is a marker of the city’s economic success. A face-to-face city at the leading edge of the economy can only function if there is a high level of trust or social capital. Take my home city, London. Its population has increased from 6.8 million in 1981 to 7.6 million today. Twenty five years ago, 18 percent of the population were immigrants to the United Kingdom, mainly (three-quarters) from former colonies.

There are ghettos of poverty, unemployment, and drugs. The global mafia operates through the global cities, just as legitimate multinational businesses do. But in contrast to those who are nostalgic for a supposedly gentler and kinder past, I would strongly argue that the “average” trust level can be higher now than it was twenty years ago and indeed is higher in certain cities such as New York and London.31 These megacities are the successful hubs of the global economy. The higher value activities in which they now specialize are higher trust activities, albeit with clear fragility such as the collapses we’ve seen in the financial sector in both cases. Others which are low-trust places, such as Mumbai or Sao Paolo, still have to cement their role in the global economy; it’s not yet clear whether or how well they’ll succeed.


pages: 437 words: 113,173

Age of Discovery: Navigating the Risks and Rewards of Our New Renaissance by Ian Goldin, Chris Kutarna

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, 3D printing, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, AltaVista, Asian financial crisis, asset-backed security, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, barriers to entry, battle of ideas, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, bitcoin, Bonfire of the Vanities, clean water, collective bargaining, Colonization of Mars, Credit Default Swap, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, Dava Sobel, demographic dividend, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, double helix, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, epigenetics, experimental economics, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, financial innovation, full employment, Galaxy Zoo, global pandemic, global supply chain, Hyperloop, immigration reform, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial cluster, industrial robot, information retrieval, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), intermodal, Internet of things, invention of the printing press, Isaac Newton, Islamic Golden Age, Johannes Kepler, Khan Academy, Kickstarter, low cost airline, low cost carrier, low skilled workers, Lyft, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, moral hazard, Nelson Mandela, Network effects, New Urbanism, non-tariff barriers, Occupy movement, On the Revolutions of the Heavenly Spheres, open economy, Panamax, Pearl River Delta, personalized medicine, Peter Thiel, post-Panamax, profit motive, rent-seeking, reshoring, Robert Gordon, Robert Metcalfe, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart grid, Snapchat, special economic zone, spice trade, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Stuxnet, The Future of Employment, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, transaction costs, transatlantic slave trade, uber lyft, undersea cable, uranium enrichment, We are the 99%, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, working poor, working-age population, zero day

We are an urban animal now, and although our habitat trends vary locally, in net global terms all future population growth will be in cities. By 2050, humanity’s urban population may grow by another 2.5 billion people; our rural population is expected to shrink by 150 million.46 The city is the center of things, and as a species we are rushing to be there. New crossroads are again emerging. Mega-cities like Tokyo, New York, London, Toronto, Paris, Delhi, São Paulo, Mumbai, Mexico City, Shanghai and Dhaka command the world’s headlines, but the real story—at least so far as urban growth is concerned—will play out in the more than 700 developing-world cities with populations that exceed 500,000 today and the more than 350 new cities that will reach that threshold by 2030. They will add 1.3 billion inhabitants through 2030—compared with an increase of just 100 million dwellers in existing big cities.47 We know these new crossroads only vaguely, if at all.

Business groups such as the B Team, the World Business Council for Sustainable Development and the UN Global Compact offer industry a similar opportunity to challenge indolence and do good. Leading companies need to lead. Much of what needs to be done can be done by “coalitions of the working”—groups of influential citizens, companies, cities or countries that get the issue and get the urgency, and by their coordinated actions generate momentum that pulls the laggards along.70 The C40 cities initiative (c40.org), originally comprising 40 megacities (now 69) around the world, is a good template. Member cities commit to taking practical actions to cut greenhouse gases and share best practices among themselves. Many global challenges can be met when a few big players get together like this. These challenges include climate change—over half of the world’s carbon emissions are produced by just four countries (China, US, India and Russia)—and finance, in which the top thirty-odd banks can make or break the health of the global banking system.

See da Vinci, Leonardo Levchin, Max, 152 libraries, 26, 29, 33, 143–5 Lintott, Chris, 147–8 Luther, Martin, 2, 30, 55, 65, 215–18, 224–5, 260–1 Machiavelli, Niccolò, 6, 11, 160, 168, 229, 246, 256, 259 The Prince, 108, 266 Magellan, Ferdinand, 19–20, 39–40, 68 Manutius, Aldus, 143–4 maps and Mercator, 20–1, 61, 252 new maps, 15–25, 33, 40, 45, 53, 60, 62, 251–2 political world circa 1980, 22 political world circa 2015, 23 and Ptolemy, 15 world according to the Bible, 16 world according to Ptolemy, 17 world according to Mercator, 20 market economies, 25, 68. See also capitalism medicine. See health and medicine mega-cities, 54 Mehmed II, 18 Mendel, Gregor, 114 Mercator, Gerard, 20, 61, 252 Metcalfe, Robert, 159 Mexico, 19, 29, 43, 54, 93, 144 Michelangelo. See Buonarroti, Michelangelo middle class, 73–5, 93, 178, 186, 241 Middle East, 40–1, 93 Arab Spring, 24, 36, 211, 222–4, 228 and economic divergence, 211 and development, 161 and health care, 98 and life expectancy, 76 See also Islam migration benefits of, 86–8 challenges of, 230–1 drivers of, 59 economic migration, 56–7 and innovation, 59 international migration flows, 58 and labor, 57–9 long-term, 52–60 and policy, 249–51, 254 in the Renaissance, 55–6 and selected capital inflows to developing world, 87 and urbanization, 53–5, 249–50 See also refugees Milner, Yuri, 156 modernity, 152, 207–10, 212, 229 Moore, Gordon, 31 Moore, Michael, 227 Moore’s Law, 31–2, 117, 123, 136 More, Thomas, 75, 261 Mosteghanemi, Ahlam, 212 Musk, Elon, 243 Myanmar, 24, 206, 252 9/11, 4, 166, 207, 219, 227, 242 nanotechnology, 125–31, 157, 162 National Security Agency (NSA), 24 nationalism, 65, 230 new media, 25–37 New Renaissance, 7–10, 139, 235–67 beginning of, 10 breadth of achievement, 101 and collaboration, 145 and democracy, 230 and life sciences, 121 and progress, 11, 98–9 and protest, 223 Newton, Isaac, 107, 124, 237 Nigeria, 43, 94, 146, 182 Nobel Prize, 137, 158, 238 Nokia, 43 North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), 25 North Korea, 25, 98, 111, 197–9, 223 Occupy movement, 36, 220–1, 224 offshoring, 44, 249 open-source movement, 145, 241 Open Tree of Life, 36 Ottoman Empire, 2, 10–11, 18, 30, 40–1, 51, 55, 60–1, 72–3, 135, 194–5, 204, 209, 213, 230 Oweidat, Nadia, 213 pandemics, 137, 185–7 Black Death, 1, 70, 72–3, 93, 143, 173–5, 177, 184 defined, 179 Ebola, 181–3 H5N1 (bird flu), 165, 183–5, 186, 237, 253 HIV/AIDS, 76, 83, 98, 101, 154, 158, 185–6 SARS, 180–1 Spanish flu, 165 paradigm shifts and Copernicus, 105–8, 110–12, and genius, 107 in life science, 112–21 in physical science, 121–31 in the Renaissance, 105–11 See also genius Paris Climate Accord, 36, 67 patents, 136–7, 159, 227, 244–5 PayPal, 59, 153, 243 perspective, need for, 4–7 Peru, 29, 93 Petrarch, 80, 133, 256 Peurbach, Georg von, 105, 133 PewDiePie, 138 pharmaceutical industry, 83–4, 113, 183, 245 3D-printed drugs, 119 and diminishing returns, 154–5 gene therapy, 119–20, 158 and nanotechnology, 131 and pace of discovery, 162–3 R&D spending, 154 Phelps, Edmund, 240–1 physics, 121–5 quantum mechanics, 123–8 and random motion, 128 and scale, 121–8 scanning tunneling microscope (STM), 128 and stickiness, 128 plague.


pages: 239 words: 68,598

The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning by James E. Lovelock

Ada Lovelace, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Clapham omnibus, cognitive dissonance, continuous integration, David Attenborough, decarbonisation, discovery of DNA, Edward Lorenz: Chaos theory, Henri Poincaré, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), mandelbrot fractal, mass immigration, megacity, Northern Rock, oil shale / tar sands, phenotype, Pierre-Simon Laplace, planetary scale, short selling, Stewart Brand, University of East Anglia

Air and light pollution have dimmed them so that only the Moon and Venus are visible through the night‐time glare. Our great‐grandparents often saw the constellations of stars and used Polaris to guide their way; on clear nights they even saw the Milky Way, that faint white band that crosses the sky and is a sideways view of our home galaxy. Apart from a few sailors and farmers miles away from any settlement, who still see the dark depths of the sky, we are all lost in the hazy air of that mega‐city that globalization has made of the human world. In a similar way scientists have become urbanized and have only recently taken the idea of a live Earth into their thinking. Most of them have still to digest the idea of Gaia and make it part of their practice. We are trying to undo some of the harm we have done, and as climate change worsens we will try harder, even desperately, but until we see that the Earth is more than a mere ball of rock we are unlikely to succeed.

Nuclear energy is by far the most effective way to reduce the emission of carbon dioxide, but that is not the most important reason for us to emulate France and make electricity from uranium. What is important is that cities demand a constant and economic supply of electricity which until recently has come from coal and gas but these are now declining and leave no alternative to nuclear energy. Huge flows of electricity will be demanded by the mega‐cities that are starting to emerge and this can only be met in the near term by a vigorous and rapid expansion of nuclear energy. This need is intensified by the fact that we have little land on which to grow food and intensive agriculture needs abundant energy. As oil runs out we will need to synthesize fuel for the mobile machinery of construction, transport and agriculture. This is not difficult to do from coal or nuclear energy but we need to start preparing for it now.


pages: 432 words: 124,635

Happy City: Transforming Our Lives Through Urban Design by Charles Montgomery

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, agricultural Revolution, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, Bernie Madoff, British Empire, Buckminster Fuller, car-free, carbon footprint, centre right, City Beautiful movement, clean water, congestion charging, correlation does not imply causation, East Village, edge city, energy security, Enrique Peñalosa, experimental subject, Frank Gehry, Google Earth, happiness index / gross national happiness, hedonic treadmill, Home mortgage interest deduction, housing crisis, income inequality, income per capita, Induced demand, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Jane Jacobs, license plate recognition, McMansion, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, mortgage tax deduction, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, peak oil, Ponzi scheme, rent control, ride hailing / ride sharing, risk tolerance, science of happiness, Seaside, Florida, Silicon Valley, starchitect, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade route, transit-oriented development, upwardly mobile, urban planning, urban sprawl, wage slave, white flight, World Values Survey, zero-sum game, Zipcar

The tension between free speech, shared space, and civic stability has continued to inform urban design ever since. Shape-Shifting As philosophies about happiness shift, so does urban form. The Romans, like the Athenians, were so deeply attached to their city that Rome itself was a spiritual project. Civic pride drove heroic feats of engineering and architecture—from aqueducts, highways, sewers, and massive ports to muscular temples and basilicas—which helped Rome grow into the world’s first megacity, with a peak population of more than one million.* As Rome grew fat on the fruits of its vast empire, its citizens adopted a new god of happiness. In 44 B.C. Julius Caesar approved construction of a temple to Felicitas, the god of pleasure, fortune, and fertility, not far from the Curia Hostilia, the meeting place of the Senate. But when it came to city building, the Roman elite increasingly focused on creating monuments to their own glory.

Repton’s manipulations appear in the drawings he made for his landed clientele, in which he would move trees from forest edges into open space, add herds of grazing animals, and create watering hole–like lakes to mimic savanna-like vistas. His contemporaries even built ditches, or haw-haws, to keep animals in without interrupting the naturalistic scenes with fencing. These views have been reproduced complete with shade trees, broad meadows, and lakes in the heart of some megacities, from London’s Hyde Park to Mexico City’s Bosque de Chapultepec to Frederick Law Olmsted’s New York masterpieces, Central and Prospect parks. In many ways, our landscape preferences support the lingering nineteenth-century idea that the city itself is a toxic and unnatural environment, and that dispersal is the natural response to biological truths. Indeed, the Repo Home Tour through the neighborhoods at the urban edge in San Joaquin County felt like a safari through a vast biophilic compromise.

While the elder proselytized: Peñalosa has influenced more than a hundred cities. On his advice, cities such as Jakarta, Delhi, and Manila have reclaimed streets from their usurpation by private cars, creating vast linear parks or handing the space to rapid bus systems modeled on Bogotá’s own. “Peñalosa’s philosophy on public spaces had a great impact on our perception of model cities,” Moji Rhodes, an assistant to the mayor in the seething megacity of Lagos, Nigeria, told me after Peñalosa convinced Lagos to start building sidewalks along new roads. Americans used to get by: U.S. Census Bureau, “Statistical Abstract of the United States 2009,” Washington, DC, 2009; The World Bank, “Motor Vehicles (per 1,000 People),” http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/is.veh.nveh.p3/countries (accessed April 28, 2013); U.S. Department of Transportation, Research and Innovative Technology Administration, Bureau of Transportation Statistics, “Table 1-37: U.S.


pages: 603 words: 182,826

Owning the Earth: The Transforming History of Land Ownership by Andro Linklater

agricultural Revolution, anti-communist, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Big bang: deregulation of the City of London, British Empire, business cycle, colonial rule, Corn Laws, corporate governance, creative destruction, Credit Default Swap, crony capitalism, David Ricardo: comparative advantage, facts on the ground, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Gini coefficient, Google Earth, income inequality, invisible hand, James Hargreaves, James Watt: steam engine, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kibera, Kickstarter, land reform, land tenure, light touch regulation, market clearing, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, Monkeys Reject Unequal Pay, mortgage debt, Northern Rock, Peace of Westphalia, Pearl River Delta, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, profit motive, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, refrigerator car, Right to Buy, road to serfdom, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Reagan, spinning jenny, The Chicago School, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, transcontinental railway, ultimatum game, wage slave, WikiLeaks, wikimedia commons, working poor

The loss of moral authority was evident enough in the rejection of the model of individual freedom evolved by private property societies. But even more damaging was their inability to offer any example to follow in the place where it was most urgently needed, the fastest growing propertied economy in the world. In 2004, just about when Mrs. Polk’s last mortgage was being issued, Yang Wu, an excitable, stubborn restaurant owner living in Chongqing, central China’s megacity, began to build a redbrick house in the Hexing Road. It replaced the family’s dilapidated wooden dwelling, and according to its owner was as smart as any in Shanghai or Beijing. Three years later, a semiofficial development company, Chongqing Shengbo Real Estate, with plans for a shopping mall, slapped a compulsory purchase order on Yang’s house and demanded that he move out. The neighbors had all accepted compensation and left, but in March 2007 Yang refused to go, even when the company’s diggers laid siege by gouging out a thirty-foot deep trench around his house.

Sometimes it was the village where the land lay, sometimes the collection of villages that administered the area, and sometimes the township or tax district. Since collectives were often represented by only a few village delegates and a party official, one collective might easily overrule another or in turn be overruled by a planning bureau backed by Communist cadres from a neighboring city. With party backing, it was easy for speculators to hack free what land they wanted from chengbao possession. In less than three decades, the megacity of Zhenzhen had grown from a fishing village near Hong Kong to an urban empire of more than eight million inhabitants, and gobbled up close to two hundred square miles of homes, fields, and ponds. But Zhenzhen was only one of 160 cities with populations of more than one million that clawed into the countryside to provide housing and employment for their inhabitants. Their centers were usually planned, but much of the outer growth was uncontrolled.

Peasant agitation might have put property rights on the agenda, but it counted for little within the People’s National Congress and the party’s Central Committee. There the strongest pressure for reform came from members of the State Organs committee and the Business Works committee—the representatives of China’s booming industrial sector—anxious to boost domestic demand through growth in the housing market. Allied with them were representatives of the provinces and of municipalities, such as the megacity of Zhenzhen, well-known for advocating greater clarity in property law to facilitate its own acquisition of land for development. Not surprisingly, their fingerprints were evident in the way the new property law favored corporate interests rather than those of individuals. It was modeled on the Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch, itself a product of German business and bureaucracy. Nevertheless, the 2007 law unmistakably expanded the rights of property owners.


The Life and Death of Ancient Cities: A Natural History by Greg Woolf

agricultural Revolution, capital controls, Columbian Exchange, demographic transition, endogenous growth, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, global village, invention of agriculture, invention of writing, joint-stock company, mass immigration, megacity, New Urbanism, out of africa, Scramble for Africa, social intelligence, social web, trade route, urban planning, urban sprawl

As I write these words there are seven point seven billion of us on this planet.1 One half of us already live in cities. By the end of this century, that figure will probably reach 75 per cent. Cities are growing so fast that it is difficult to keep count. One recent estimate lists nearly a thousand metropolitan areas that each have at least half a million inhabitants. The United Nations’ latest survey of World Urbanization Prospects lists 33 megacities—cities with more than 10 million inhabitants each.2 What counts as a city? The answer (and the definitions used in those reports) varies from place to place. In Nicaragua a settlement with street lights and electricity is a city, even if it has only 1,000 inhabitants. Japan sets the threshold at 50,000. Some definitions stipulate that a city must have a continuous built-up area, that a certain proportion of its population must earn their living in ways other than farming, or that the settlement must have some formal legal existence or administrative function.

Perhaps as many as 8,000 lived densely packed together in houses built so close that access to some was across the rooftops of others. Many early cities were smaller, and some were quite low-density, vast sprawling areas of yards and gardens and compounds loosely connected by paths or even separated by patches of woodland or common ground. But often this was not feasible. No ancient cities approached the population densities of today’s megacities, but some had population densities of 10,000 to 20,000 people per square kilometre. This was only possible by building up and building down, by packing homes close together. Modern cities can often spread horizontally, because transport systems allow people to live long distances from where they work or find food. Modern communications allow members of a team to work together almost as well remotely as when they are together.

Some of the largest cities have grown rapidly in chaotic and unplanned fashion. Since the Industrial Revolution, migration along new transport infrastructure has piled up vast populations. Chicago famously grew from less than 5,000 inhabitants to more than a million in the second half of the nineteenth century. Toronto had only slightly less dramatic growth in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The latest megacities are growing fast in West Africa and Northeast India, in parts of China, and along the western and eastern seaboards of the United States. Modern states are often more successful at planning or at least accommodating growth. Ever since the days of Gilgamesh rulers and governments have tried to control urbanization, planting cities in new lands, amalgamating cities, even obliterating some or resettling entire subject populations in new lands to create dynastic and national capitals.


pages: 251 words: 76,868

How to Run the World: Charting a Course to the Next Renaissance by Parag Khanna

Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, back-to-the-land, bank run, blood diamonds, Bob Geldof, borderless world, BRICs, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, charter city, clean water, cleantech, cloud computing, commoditize, continuation of politics by other means, corporate governance, corporate social responsibility, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, don't be evil, double entry bookkeeping, energy security, European colonialism, facts on the ground, failed state, friendly fire, global village, Google Earth, high net worth, index fund, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, Live Aid, Masdar, mass immigration, megacity, microcredit, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, New Urbanism, off grid, offshore financial centre, oil shock, open economy, out of africa, Parag Khanna, private military company, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, RAND corporation, reserve currency, Silicon Valley, smart grid, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, sustainable-tourism, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trickle-down economics, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, X Prize

Today, just forty city-regions account for two-thirds of the world economy. Their power lies in money, knowledge, and stability. New York City’s economy alone is larger than most of sub-Saharan Africa’s. Port cities and entrepôts such as Dubai act like twenty-first-century Venice: They are “free zones” where products are efficiently re-exported without the hassles of government red tape. Such mega-cities as Rio, Istanbul, Cairo, Mumbai, Nairobi, and Manila are the leading urban centers of their countries and regions, yet each teems with hundreds of thousands of new urban squatters each year. The migrant underclass lives not in chaos and “shadow economies” but often in functional, self-organizing ecosystems, the typical physical stratification of medieval cities. Whether rich or poor, cities, more than nations, are the building blocks of global activity today.

Like China, India’s challenge is to generate enough power for its people, but to do so in a way that reflects the ecologically conscious spirit of the times. India has an Energy Conservation Act that mandates that states set aside funds for clean energy. New Delhi has enforced strong regulations requiring buses and scooters to run on natural gas, while planting thousands of trees to make the city’s air breathable again—a rare success for a poor-country mega-city. Its accomplishments are the results of both a progressive high court and a persistent lobbying from India’s rambunctious civil society, particularly the Center for Science and the Environment, which sends representatives from village to village to teach people to harvest as much as 60 percent of the rainwater that falls on their properties using a system of rooftop gutters and ground trenches.


pages: 273 words: 76,786

Explore Everything by Bradley Garrett

airport security, Burning Man, call centre, creative destruction, deindustrialization, double helix, dumpster diving, failed state, Google Earth, Hacker Ethic, Jane Jacobs, Julian Assange, late capitalism, megacity, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, place-making, shareholder value, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, urban planning, white flight, WikiLeaks

Thrift, ‘Out of Order: Understanding Repair and Maintenance’, Theory, Culture & Society 24: 3 (2007). 12 Dylan Trigg (2005), ‘Ninjalicious 1973–2005’, Side Effects. 13 Ninjalicious, ‘On Viewing Holes’, Infiltration, 13: 2 (1999). 14 David Pinder, Visions of the City: Utopianism, Power and Politics in Twentieth-Century Urbanism (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2005), p. 149, quoted in Luke Dickens, ‘Placing Post-Graffiti: The Journey of the Peckham Rock’, Cultural Geographies 14: 4 (October 2008). 15 Peter Adey, ‘Vertical Security in the Megacity: Legibility, Mobility and Aerial Politics’, Theory, Culture & Society 27: 6 (2010); Stuart Elden, ‘Secure the Volume: Vertical Geopolitics and the Depth of Power’, Political Geography 34 (May 2013). 16 Minton, Ground Control. 17 You can see the photo at guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2012/sep/21/urban-exploration-bradley-garrett-photography. 18 Eva Weber, dir., The Solitary Life of Cranes, Channel 4, 2008. 19 Henri Lefebvre, Rhythmanalysis: Space, Time, and Everyday Life, transl.

CROWDS AND CUFFS 1 See Rachel Pain, Mike Kesby and Kye Askins, ‘Geographies of Impact: Power, Participation and Potential’, Area 43: 2 (June 2011); Tom Slater, ‘Impacted Geographers: A Response to Pain, Kesby and Askins’, Area 44: 1 (March 2012). 2 David Pinder, ‘Urban Interventions: Art, Politics and Pedagogy’, International Journal of Urban and Regional Research 32: 3 (September 2008). 3 Tom Bill, ‘London “Shard” Homes Create Record Price Gap’, Reuters, 12 April 2012. 4 ‘The View from the Shard: Plan Your Visit’, at theviewfromtheshard.com/#plan-your-visit/visitor-information. 5 Bradley L. Garrett, ‘Scaling the Shard’, Domus 960 (July/August 2012). 6 P. Adey, ‘Vertical Security in the Megacity: Legibility, Mobility and Aerial Politics’, Theory, Culture and Society 27: 6 (November 2010), p. 58. 7 Stephen Graham and Lucy Hewitt, ‘Getting Off the Ground: On the Politics of Urban Verticality’, Progress in Human Geography 9 (April 2012). 8 Matthew Power, ‘Excuse Us While We Kiss the Sky’, GQ, March 2013. 9 Wasik, ‘My Crowd’, p. 65. 10 Rancière, ‘Notes on the Photographic Image’, p. 9. 11 There are more than 130 other comments on that blog post (placehacking.co.uk/2012/04/07/climbing-shard-glass), along with the many others in newspapers and blog articles around the web. 12 Bradley L.


pages: 472 words: 80,835

Life as a Passenger: How Driverless Cars Will Change the World by David Kerrigan

3D printing, Airbnb, airport security, Albert Einstein, autonomous vehicles, big-box store, butterfly effect, call centre, car-free, Cesare Marchetti: Marchetti’s constant, Chris Urmson, commoditize, computer vision, congestion charging, connected car, DARPA: Urban Challenge, deskilling, disruptive innovation, edge city, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, future of work, invention of the wheel, Just-in-time delivery, loss aversion, Lyft, Marchetti’s constant, Mars Rover, megacity, Menlo Park, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, Nash equilibrium, New Urbanism, QWERTY keyboard, Ralph Nader, RAND corporation, Ray Kurzweil, ride hailing / ride sharing, Rodney Brooks, Sam Peltzman, self-driving car, sensor fusion, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, the built environment, Thorstein Veblen, traffic fines, transit-oriented development, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed, urban planning, urban sprawl, Yogi Berra, young professional, zero-sum game, Zipcar

Public-transportation policy makers will need to consider the economics of AVs and consumer attitudes toward AVs in their investment plans. Their long-term planning must consider the possibility that the favorable economics of AVs might lead consumers not only to give up their own vehicles but also to shun conventional mass transit in favor of robo-taxis. This phenomenon could be particularly pronounced in megacities in emerging markets, where public-transit capacity can’t keep up with rising demand. Policies that would incentivise drivers to switch to AVs—such as requiring expensive permits for conventional personal vehicles—could substantially quicken attempts in those cities to prioritise daily commutes and errands by other modes such as walking, bicycling, and ridesharing. Will driverless cars cherry-pick off public transport - with low income bus users suffering the consequences of even lower municipal investment in shared services?

This leapfrogging has already happened with telephone systems: Developing countries that lacked land-line telephone and broadband connectivity, such as India, made the leap directly to mobile systems rather than build out their land-line infrastructures. With an annual toll of 150,000[317] deaths, over 10% of all the road deaths in the world are in India. Given the population densities in some of these megacities, the relatively young populations and the lack of a historical model of car ownership, there may just be an opportunity for shared self-driving cars to avert a generation of carnage and pollution spreading further around the globe. Framing the Future “The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking” Albert Einstein Just as we don’t know for certain the timeline for truly driverless cars, we also don’t know which will prove to be the biggest barriers.


Driverless: Intelligent Cars and the Road Ahead by Hod Lipson, Melba Kurman

AI winter, Air France Flight 447, Amazon Mechanical Turk, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, butterfly effect, carbon footprint, Chris Urmson, cloud computing, computer vision, connected car, creative destruction, crowdsourcing, DARPA: Urban Challenge, digital map, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, Erik Brynjolfsson, Google Earth, Google X / Alphabet X, high net worth, hive mind, ImageNet competition, income inequality, industrial robot, intermodal, Internet of things, job automation, Joseph Schumpeter, lone genius, Lyft, megacity, Network effects, New Urbanism, Oculus Rift, pattern recognition, performance metric, precision agriculture, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Second Machine Age, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, speech recognition, statistical model, Steve Jobs, technoutopianism, Tesla Model S, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Unsafe at Any Speed

If the availability of too-convenient transportation creates a rebound effect on traffic and dramatically increases the number of road miles that people travel each year, driverless cars could have a devastating environmental impact. Today the transportation sector is already one of the largest contributors to air pollution. In the United States alone, exhaust from cars and trucks causes an estimated 29 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions that human activities generate each year.4 If driverless cars were to increase the number of vehicle miles traveled per capita, densely populated “megacities” in developing nations would be hit particularly hard. While the United States has a nearly 100-year-old relationship with the car, other nations are enthusiastically catching up. China is following in the footsteps of the United States, gaining its own car culture. As a growing and newly affluent Chinese middle class embraces the convenience of car travel, cities such as Beijing and Zhengzhou are suffering from spectacular eight-lane traffic jams and worsening smog levels.

Another side-effect of convenient personal mobility will be that people will go in search of new places to live. Commuting The greater metropolitan areas of cities such as Mumbai, Mexico City, and Shanghai are each home to more than 20 million people. By the year 2050, the size of the global urban population will nearly double, from today’s figure of 3.3 billion people to a projected 6.4 billion.21 These megacities will stretch for miles and their streets will be stuffed with cars as their citizens are forced to engage in a daily and potentially deadly attempt to get around. As urban populations grow, cities will need to use their space wisely. When driverless cars become commercially available, forward-thinking city planners can repurpose urban parking lots as parks and affordable housing. Another way to improve the quality of urban life would be to make commuting to work easier.


pages: 341 words: 89,986

Bricks & Mortals: Ten Great Buildings and the People They Made by Tom Wilkinson

Berlin Wall, British Empire, cuban missile crisis, Donald Trump, double helix, experimental subject, false memory syndrome, financial independence, Ford paid five dollars a day, Frederick Winslow Taylor, Google Glasses, housing crisis, Kitchen Debate, Mahatma Gandhi, mass incarceration, megacity, neoliberal agenda, New Urbanism, Panopticon Jeremy Bentham, starchitect, traveling salesman, trickle-down economics, Upton Sinclair, urban planning

The ruins of the Yuanming Yuan – largely ignored if not viewed with suspicion as remnants of a feudal past between 1949 and 1978 – are now used to whip up nationalist, and sometimes xenophobic, sentiment, in order to forge a nation state based on those very nineteenth-century European ideals that led to the destruction of the palace in the first place. The cruel irony that the most visible of its remains are Western buildings has not been lost on Chinese observers, although the possibility that they might be inappropriate touchstones for a supposedly socialist country is very rarely suggested. And today, Beijing, Shanghai and the other mega-cities of China are filled with modern buildings that meld Western and Chinese characteristics. The so-called Bird’s Nest stadium in Beijing, for example, was the result of a collaboration between Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron and Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei. Like the Olympic opening ceremony that took place there in 2008, it’s a bizarre confection of Soviet and consumerist spectacle. Similarly, the new HQ of the Chinese national broadcaster, a heavily censored propaganda outlet going by the sinister acronym of CCTV, was designed by erstwhile enfant terrible Rem Koolhaas as a kind of gigantic character 口 (pronounced ‘kou’ meaning mouth – of the party?)

These come in many forms, whether peripheral accretions like Rocinha or older enclaves such as Cairo’s City of the Dead, a Mameluke cemetery the tombs of which are inhabited by over half a million people. Slumification is not the only problem facing architecture: in 2010 the proportion of the world’s people living in cities passed 50 per cent for the first time. The majority of urbanites live in the mega­cities of the developing world, such as Shanghai, Mexico City or even prodigious new forms like the endless sprawl of the Rio/Sao Paulo Extended Metropolitan Region, which has a combined population of 45 million. While cities swell and fuse to become regional megalopolises, the countryside is also urbanising. In China, as Mike Davis wrote in his staggering book Planet of Slums, ‘in many cases, rural people no longer have to migrate to the city: it migrates to them’.4 He concluded, ‘The cities of the future, rather than being made out of glass and steel as envisioned by earlier generations of urbanists, are instead largely constructed out of crude brick, straw, recycled plastic, cement blocks, and scrap wood.


pages: 614 words: 176,458

Meat: A Benign Extravagance by Simon Fairlie

agricultural Revolution, Albert Einstein, back-to-the-land, Boris Johnson, call centre, carbon footprint, Community Supported Agriculture, deindustrialization, en.wikipedia.org, food miles, Food sovereignty, Haber-Bosch Process, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Just-in-time delivery, land reform, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Wolf, megacity, Northern Rock, Panamax, peak oil, refrigerator car, scientific mainstream, sexual politics, stem cell, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, trade liberalization, University of East Anglia, upwardly mobile, women in the workforce, zero-sum game

Concerns arise when the pace of change in the livestock sector exceeds the capacity of the rest of the economy to provide alternative employment opportunities.13 There is no shortage of reasons for challenging the trajectory laid down by the FAO. Why, we may ask, should the rest of the world follow the path we have trodden, can they not learn from our mistakes? What is to be gained by dispossessing peasants – the only people on this earth whose environmental footprint does not extend into other people’s space – and herding them into megacities of jaw-dropping unsustainability? When the world is already facing a resource crisis, how can it make sense to promote a centralized food economy that pours good human food down animals’ gullets and that relies so heavily upon fossil fuels for its fertility, processing, transport, refrigeration, packaging and commercialisation? These are all crucial questions, but they cannot be posed with much integrity by those who enjoy a diet that is unattainable for others on the lower rungs of the FAO’s ladder of urbanization.

As the FAO acknowledges ‘it will be difficult to apply the [polluter pays] principle to methane emissions from single cows owned on an Indian mixed farm of half a hectare.’76 On the macro scale, a major shift from ruminants to monogastrics, again favoured by the FAO, would also require intensified production methods, involving increased reliance on fossil fuel dependent, N2O-emitting arable crops, and the loss of soil carbon through the ploughing up of pasture. As the FAO remarks ‘ruminant production, both meat and milk, tends to be much more rural-based’, because of the need for bulky fibrous feeds. If large numbers of ‘inefficient’ cows were culled, millions of poor rural dwellers would lose the ability to harness their local biomass and add to the swell of refugees flocking into megacities. There is a very good case for reducing the numbers of feedlot cattle and of rainforest cattle, which are extravagant and destructive in other respects; but beyond that, large scale reductions in ruminants would have uncertain returns in terms of methane emission because we cannot be sure how the biosphere will respond, would increase pressure for fossil fuel consumption, and would have severe social repercussions.

This means that about 0.2 hectares of such agriculture can support one individual without HEAP effects, provided that the nutrient-containing residues are returned to the agriculture’.77 HEAPs are also an area of concern for the FAO, who observe: There is growing concentration of livestock activities in certain favoured locations … This concentration is driven by the newly gained independence of industrial livestock from the specific natural endowments of given locations which have previously determined the location of livestock production (as they still do for most of crop agriculture).78 The FAO’s term for this problem is ‘nutrient loading’ which, it explains, is due to the ‘urbanization of livestock’: Geographic concentration or what could be called the ‘urbanization of livestock’ is in many ways a response to the rapid urbanization of human populations … The separation of livestock production and the growing of feed crops is a defining characteristic of the industrialization of livestock production. Nutrient loading is caused by high animal densities, particularly on the periphery of cities and by inadequate animal waste treatment.79 The FAO’s solution is to ruralize ‘confined animal feeding operations’, or factory farms, which it considers should no longer be sited like satellites around megacities, but should be more widely distributed throughout the countryside. Since the SARS and swine flu epidemics, the FAO also cites the risk of disease as another reason for dispersal.80 This is a move in the right direction, but unless these factories are subdivided back into smaller farms, the nutrients will still end up in a huge methane generating HEAP (though in a more bucolic location) and still require fossil-fuel powered transport to take them back to the land from which they came.


pages: 579 words: 164,339

Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? by Alan Weisman

air freight, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, Bretton Woods, British Empire, call centre, carbon footprint, clean water, colonial rule, David Attenborough, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, El Camino Real, epigenetics, Filipino sailors, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, haute couture, housing crisis, ice-free Arctic, Ignaz Semmelweis: hand washing, illegal immigration, immigration reform, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), land reform, liberation theology, load shedding, Louis Pasteur, Mahatma Gandhi, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, oil shale / tar sands, out of africa, Pearl River Delta, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme, race to the bottom, Ronald Reagan, Satyajit Das, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Stewart Brand, unemployed young men, upwardly mobile, urban sprawl, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks

Even the richest man in town, Mukesh Ambani, chairman of the energy and materials conglomerate Reliance Industries, who’s built a twenty-seven-floor, four-hundred-thousand-square-foot home for his family, doesn’t run off the neighbors living in the cracks between the surrounding buildings, because his mansion needs a staff of six hundred. Mumbai is one of the few places on Earth where there is 100 percent employment, where literally anybody can find work—unlike its gloomy megacity alter-ego five hundred miles up the Arabian seacoast, Karachi. Mumbai may lack Karachi’s menace—but what will happen when it’s all built? Building is what Krishna Pujari is worried about—not that they’ll stop, but that Dharavi, where he lives and makes his living, is where the developers have fixed their crosshairs next, and they’re going to build him out of business. Until recently, Dharavi claimed to be the biggest, most densely agglomerated slum in Asia.

PowerPoint Presentation, October 2, 2011. http://www.hotelschool.cornell.edu/about/dean/documents/. Wang, Yukuan. “Ecosystem Service Assessment and Management.” PowerPoint Presentation, Chinese Academy of Sciences, September 24, 2010. Webel, Sebastian. “Sustainability Boom.” Pictures of the Future Magazine (Siemens), Spring 2012: 90–94. http://www.siemens.com/pof. Webster, Paul, and Jason Burke. “How the Rise of the Megacity Is Changing the Way We Live.” Observer (UK), January 21, 2012. Weiss, Kenneth R. “Beyond 7 Billion: The China Effect.” Los Angeles Times, July 22, 2012. Wines, Michael. “Qian Xuesen, Father of China’s Space Program, Dies at 98.” New York Times, November 3, 2009. Wong, Edward. “Reports of Forced Abortions Fuel Push to End Chinese Law.” New York Times, July 22, 2012. “The Worldwide War on Baby Girls.”

April 21, 1993. http://parliamentofindia.nic.in/ls/lsdeb/ls10/ses6/0521049301.htm. Chu, Henry, and Mark Magnie. “For Muslims in India, an Uneasy Calm.” Los Angeles Times, December 14, 2008. “Dr. Gurcharan Singh Kalkat.” Accessed at: pbplanning.gov.in/pdf/Biodata%20GS%20Kalkat.pdf. “Farmer suicides: NGO points to Punjab reporting fewer numbers.” Times of India, December 30, 2011. Ferris, David. “Asia’s Megacities Pose a Stark Environmental Challenge.” Forbes, August 31, 2012. Goldenberg, Suzanne. “Where a Baby Is Born Every 2 Seconds.” Guardian (UK), Saturday 14, 1999. Gupta, Shankar Prasad. “Forest Tenure Issues in Terai of Nepal: Understanding the Present Management Regimes.” A Term Paper Report on Forestry and Wildlife. Kathmandu University, 2011. Gwatkin, Davidson R. “Political Will and Family Planning: The Implications of India’s Emergency Experience.”


pages: 558 words: 164,627

The Pentagon's Brain: An Uncensored History of DARPA, America's Top-Secret Military Research Agency by Annie Jacobsen

Albert Einstein, Berlin Wall, colonial rule, crowdsourcing, cuban missile crisis, Dean Kamen, drone strike, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, game design, John Markoff, John von Neumann, license plate recognition, Livingstone, I presume, low earth orbit, megacity, Menlo Park, meta analysis, meta-analysis, Mikhail Gorbachev, Murray Gell-Mann, mutually assured destruction, Norman Mailer, operation paperclip, place-making, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Ronald Reagan: Tear down this wall, social intelligence, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, zero-sum game

Hickey, Memo RM-3208-ARPA, August 1962, ARPA Combat Development & Test Center, Vietnam, Monthly Report (n.d.), RG 330, Project Agile, NACP. 9 “Signs of conflict”: Hickey, Window, 19, 90–91. 10 change of plans: Ahern, CIA and Rural Pacification in South Vietnam (U), 114; Hickey, Window, 91. 11 effective means of pacification: Memorandum from the director of the CIA to Secretary of Defense McNamara on the Strategic Hamlet Program, July 13, 1962, CIA. 12 “monitor”: Ehlschlaeger, “Understanding Megacities with the Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Intelligence Paradigm,” xii. 13 Cu Chu villagers: Hickey, Window, 93. 14 “I said, in essence”: Ibid., 99. 15 Hickey recalled paraphrasing: Ibid., 99. 16 ARPA officials complained: Deitchman, Best-Laid Schemes, 342. 17 “more patient approach”: Elliott, 33. 18 “ground to a pulp”: Ibid., 38. 19 Tanham showed great optimism: Tanham, War Without Guns, 25-29. 20 “Given a little luck”: Elliott, 31.

Chapter Twenty-Two Combat Zones That See 1 “Combat Zones That See”: DARPA Solicitation number SN03-13, Pre-Solicitation Notice: Combat Zones That See (CTS), March 25, 2003. 2 “No technological challenges”: Robert Leheny, “DARPA’s Urban Operations Program,” presentation at DARPATech 2005, August 2005, with photographs. 3 “We need a network”: Tether, Statement to Congress, March 10, 2005, 11. 4 Congress had eliminated funding: U.S. Congress, H8500–H8550, Joint Explanatory Statement, Terrorism Information Awareness (TIA), Congressional Record, September 24, 2003. 5 “detect the clandestine production”: Tether, Statement to Congress, March 10, 2005, 11. 6 “a network of nonintrusive microsensors”: Leheny, “DARPA’s Urban Operations Program,” 38. 7 unclassified documents: Ehlschlaeger, “Understanding Megacities with the Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Intelligence Paradigm,” 50–53. 8 the HURT program: DARPA Information Exploitation Office (IXO) HURT Program Office, aerial vehicle platform documents; See also James Richardson, “Preparing Warfighters for the Urban Stage,” located in DARPA: 50 Years of Bridging the Gap, 166–67. 9 “The [HURT] system”: Pagels quoted in Clarence A. Robinson, Jr., “Air Vehicles Deliver Warrior Data,” Signal Magazine, July 2007. 10 terrorists could sneak in: DARPA: 50 Years of Bridging the Gap, 169; Glenn Zorpette, “Countering IEDs,” IEEE Spectrum, August 29, 2008. 11 DARPA’s goal: This information comes from Tether, Statement to Congress, 2003; “Combat Zones That See (CTS) Solicitation Number BAA03-15, March 25, 2003.

RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, March 1965. Doolittle, James H., William B. Franke, Morris Hadley, and William D. Pawley. “Report on the Covert Activities of the Central Intelligence Agency.” Special Study Group, Washington, DC, July 1954. Eckhart, Major General George S. Vietnam Studies: Command and Control, 1950–1969. Department of the Army, Washington, DC, 1974. Ehlschlaeger, Charles. “Understanding Megacities with the Reconnaissance, Surveillance, and Intelligence Paradigm.” U.S. Army Engineer Research Development Center, April 2014. Foster, John S. “Alfred Dodd Starbird, 1912–1983.” National Academy of Engineering, Volume 3, The National Academies Press, Washington, DC, 1989. Gates, W. L. “Rand/ARPA Climate Dynamics Research: Executive Summary and Final Report.” R-2015-ARPA. RAND Corporation, Santa Monica, CA, January 1977.


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The Menopause Thyroid Solution by Mary J. Shomon

clean water, Gary Taubes, life extension, megacity, Ralph Waldo Emerson, randomized controlled trial, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI)

For women who still have a uterus and are taking any estrogen treatment, progestogens help prevent endometrial hyperplasia (overgrowth of the uterine lining), a condition that can increase the risk of endometrial and uterine cancer. The most commonly prescribed form of progestogen therapy is the progestin known as medroxyprogesterone. The brand name of the oral form is Provera, and it is also available in a generic form. Other oral progestins are Micronor and Nor-QD and generic norethindrone Aygestin and generic norethindrone acetate Ovrette and generic norgestrel Megace and generic megestrol acetate Mirena is an intrauterine device (IUD) that delivers levonorgestrel, a synthesized progestin. Progestin-only contraceptive pills (“mini-pills”) are also available, including Micronor, Nora-BE, and Nor-QD. Norplant is a high-dose contraceptive progestin implant; Depo-Provera is a high-dose contraceptive delivered by injection. The other key type of progestogen therapy is bioidentical progesterone, which is available in several manufactured forms: Prometrium, an oral micronized progesterone capsule, suspended in peanut oil Prochieve and Crinone, vaginal progesterone gels Compounding pharmacies offer a variety of forms and strengths of bioidentical progesterone, including Oral capsules Transdermal creams, to be rubbed into the skin Vaginal creams Vaginal suppositories Sublingual pills or drops, to dissolve under the tongue Troches (lozenges that dissolve between the cheek and gum) Implantable pellets With oral micronized progesterone, keep in mind that higher doses may be necessary to help regulate the menstrual cycle, or to cause bleeding.

., 344 Le Guin, Ursula, 289 Leptin, 17, 74 Levonorgestrel, 145 Levothroid, 21, 110, 343 Levothyroxine, 21, 103, 109–11, 114–15, 118, 119, 121–23, 312 Levoxyl, 21, 110, 114, 121, 342 Libido, 180, 229 low, 42, 77, 186, 204, 207, 307 (see also Sexual dysfunction) Lid lag, 48, 86 Life energy, redirecting and rebalancing, 276–78 Life Extension Foundation, 192, 350 Lightheadedness, 50, 82 Lighthearted Medicine, 354 Lignans, 194 Limbitrol, 292 Linoleic acid, 129 Linolenic acid, 129, 179 Liotrix, 110 Lithium, 34, 123, 295 Liver disease, 38, 158, 203 Living Well with Autoimmune Disease (Shomon), 339–40 Living Well with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Fibromyalgia (Shomon), 340 Living Well with Graves’ Disease and Hyperthyroidism (Shomon), 339 Living Well with Hypothyroidism (Shomon), 338 Living Well with Menopause (Clark), 344 Loratidine, 306 Lorazepam, 292, 303 Low Dog, Tieraona, 8, 174–75, 197, 202–4, 209, 270–72, 276–77, 280–81, 290, 336, 356 Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), 150 Low-glycemic diet, 296–97 L-theanine, 206 Lugol’s solution, 131 Luminal, 306 Lupus, 27 Luteinizing hormone (LH), 16, 53, 54, 60, 185, 188, 208 blood tests for, 139–41 Luvox, 292 Lymphatic function, 230–31, 237 Lymph nodes, 87, 107 Lyothyronine, 111 Lysine, 314 Maca, 179–84, 308, 310 Magnesium, 128, 179, 291 Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), 95, 141, 286 Malabsorption syndrome, 38 Mammograms, 154, 158 Maprotiline, 123 Marsh mallow, 310 Massage, family, 282 Medical history, 26 Meditation, 279, 286–87, 326, 352–53 Meditation for Beginners (Kornfield), 287, 353 Meditation in a New York Minute (Thornton), 287, 353 Medroxyprogesterone, 144, 147, 156 Megace, 144 Megestrol acetate, 144 Melasma, 155 Melatonin, 15, 184–93, 291, 351 Melatonin Miracle, The (Pierpaoli), 186, 351 Memory problems, 1, 3, 11, 46–47, 72, 73, 81–82 Menest, 150, 171 Menopausal transition, see Perimenopause Menopause, see Perimenopause/menopause Menopause (journal), 189 Menopause Guidebook (North American Menopause Society), 344 Menopause Practice (North American Menopause Society), 344 Menorrhagia, 39, 308–10 Menostar, 151, 164, 347 Menstrual cycle, 17, 52–57, 271 irregularities of, 2, 3, 10, 11, 39, 143, 145–46, 308–11 during perimenopause, 60–62, 67, 68–70, 135–36 supplements and, 180, 184, 186, 188–89, 200, 209 Mercury, 31, 132, 215 Metabolic syndrome, 38 Metabolism, 3, 11, 13, 14, 18, 214, 284 diet and, 301 exercise and, 230, 233, 235, 236, 300 in perimenopause/menopause, 74, 230 supplements and, 128–30 in thyroid dysfunction, 40, 42–44, 47, 294 Metamucil, 45 Metesto, 149 Metformin, 296 Methimazone, 21, 105, 113 Methitest, 149 Methylcobalamin, 125–26 Methylsulfonylmethane (MSM), 314 Methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE), 32 Methyltestosterone, 149 Metoclorpramide, 36 Metrorrhagia, 39 Micronor, 144, 145 Midler, Bette, 1 Migraines, 47, 82, 147, 155, 158, 165 Milaria bumps, 86 Mind-body medicine, 14, 269–70 Mindful Movement for Menopause Management (DVD), 238 Minerals, 127–28, 214–15 Mineral water, 223, 226 Minnie Pauz, 70, 287–88, 335, 345 Minoxidil, 313 Miracle of Natural Hormones, The (Brownstein), 343 Mirena intrauterine device, 145, 309, 347 Mirtazapine, 292, 303 Miscarriage, 28, 39, 69, 70 Mitral valve prolapse, 38, 86 Monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), 303 Monoclonal antibody, 35 Monodeiodination, 18 Monoiodotyronine (T1), 16, 112 Mononucleosis, 37 Mood changes, 2, 41–42, 72, 74–76, 209, 217–72, 274 as hormone therapy side effect, 142, 143, 147 Mood-stabilizing drugs, 295 Moore, Elaine, 341, 342 Moore, Lisa, 341 Mouth, dryness of, 45–46, 80–81 Mulders, Martin, 116, 217, 356 Muller, Viana, 179–83, 357 Multiple sclerosis, 27, 35 Multivitamins, 125–26 Muscle relaxants, 292 Myasthenia gravis, 39 Myeth Pharmaceuticals, 152 Mylanta, 120 MyMedLab, 104, 141, 346 Mysloine, 306 Nails, 50, 82, 86 Naparstek, Belleruth, 273 Nardil, 303 Nasal radium therapy, 32–33 National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (NACB), 89 National Institutes of Health (NIH), 158, 202 National Library of Medicine PubMed service, 334 National Osteoporosis Foundation, 79 National Sleep Foundation, 289 Native American healers, 201 Natural dessicated thyroid, 112–13, 115–16, 118 Natural Gourmet (Colbin), 353 Natural Gourmet Institute, 219 Natural Hormone Balance for Women (Reiss and Zucker), 344 Natural Superwoman, The (Reiss and Gendell), 144, 344 Nature-Thyroid, 21, 112–13, 115, 343 Naturopathy, 112, 178, 179, 228, 231, 326, 328 Neck, 48–49 self-check for thyroid problems, 83–84 trauma to, 36 Nefazodone, 303 NeoMercazole, 113 Nettles, 310, 314 Neuroendocrinology, 269–70 Neurontin, 317 Neuropeptide Y, 17 Nevada Nuclear Test Site, 33 New York Times, 329, 334 Niacin, 125 Nicholas Piramal India Ltd., 113 Nicholson, Jan, 277, 279, 280, 283 Nicotine patch, 311 Night sweats, 2, 6, 61, 70–73, 75, 135, 136, 153, 272, 274, 316–18, 329 alcohol and, 224 exercise and, 229 natural treatments for, 182, 184, 201, 202, 206 sleep problems and, 291 Nodules, thyroid, 20–22, 84, 95, 98, 107, 108 Nora-BE, 145 Noradrenaline, 16 Norepinephrine, 16, 304 Norethindrone, 144, 156 Norgestrel, 144 Norplant, 145 Norpramin, 121, 303, 292 Nor-QD, 144, 145 North American Menopause Society (NAMS), 74, 81, 153, 161, 169, 171, 199, 202, 270, 278, 291, 334 Credentialed practitioners of, 328, 350 Web site of, 345 Novartis Pharmceuticals Corporation, 347 Nortriptyline, 292 Novo Nordisk Inc., 348 Nuclear exposure, 33 Nuclear scans, 94–95 Nutrasweet, 37 Nutritional supplements, see Supplements Nystagmus, 48 Oak Ridge (Tennessee) nuclear facility, 33 Oleic acid, 179 Oligomenorrhea, 39 Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, 129–30, 195, 297–98 Onycholysis, 50, 87 Oophorectomy, 65 Ophthalmopathy, 48 Oreton Methyl, 149 Organ donation, 35 Organic foods, 221–22, 324 Ornish, Dean, 287, 352 Orthocept, 156 Ortho-Est, 150 Ortho Novum, 156 Ortho Tricyclen, 156 Osteopathy, 112, 211–12, 273, 281 Osteoporosis, 44, 79, 103, 119, 153, 327 drugs for, 35, 152 Ovaries, 5, 16, 17, 52–54, 59, 60, 76, 137, 180, 189, 214 at birth, 52, 60 cancer of, 154, 199 polycistic, 26, 38, 65, 327 premature decline or failure of, 26, 64 surgical removal of, 61, 65 Overactive thyroid, see Hyperthyroidism Overcoming Thyroid Disorders (Blanchard), 340 Ovrette, 144 Ovulation, 54, 55, 69 Oxcarbazepine, 35, 36 Oxybutynin, 316 Oxycise, 283 Oxytocin, 270 Oxytrol, 316 Pacewalk, 234 Pain during intercourse, 76 muscle and joint, 21, 44–45, 80, 147 Palmitic acid, 179 Palpitations, 11, 23, 38, 42, 46, 72, 81, 86, 142, 143, 188 Pamelor, 292 Pancreas, 16, 180 Pancreatic polypeptide, 16 Panic attacks, 39, 42 Para-aminosalicylic acid, 35, 36 Parathyroid gland, 16 Parathyroid hormone (PH), 16 Park, Steven, 294, 354 Parker, Dorothy, 83 Parker-Pope, Tara, 160, 162–63, 167, 329, 331–34 344 Parkinson’s disease, 189 Parnate, 303 Paroxetine, 121, 292, 303, 317 Partner, communicating with, 282–83 Passion flower, 205–6, 304 Paxil, 121, 178, 292, 296, 303, 306, 317 Pelvic inflammatory disease, 137 Perchlorate, 31–32, 132 Percutaneous ethanol injections, 107 Perimenopause/menopause, 2–9, 12, 13, 60–82, 103, 324 adrenal function and, 213–14 age at, 62, 64 blood tests for, 138–41 body aches during, 80 bone loss during, 79 breast changes in, 81 clinical examination for, 137–38 clinical test for, 62 cholesterol and, 79 complementary medicine for, 209–12 concentration and memory problems during, 81–82 decreasing fertility and infertility during, 70 depression and anxiety during, 302–5 diagnosing, 141–42 diet and, 216–18, 297 digestive disorders during, 80 early, risk factors for, 64–66 exercise and, 228–30, 234, 238 eye dryness during, 80 fatigue during, 79–80 finding right practitioner for, 326–33 hair loss during, 78, 311–14 heart-related problems during, 81 headaches and migraines during, 82 hormone therapy for, see Hormone therapy imaging and diagnostic tests for, 141 menstrual irregularities and, 39, 68–70, 143, 146, 308–11 mind-body connection in, 269–88 mineral imbalances and, 214–15 mood changes during, 74–75 mouth dryness during, 80–81 natural supplements for, 177–209 process of, 60–62 self-checks for, 135–36 sexual dysfunction during, 77, 305–8 skin changes during, 78 sleep problems during, 73, 289–94 smoking and, 322 terminology of, 66–67 thyroid dosage requirements and, 134 urinary problems during, 76–77, 315–16 vaginal dryness during, 75–76, 314–15 vasomotor symptoms of, see Hot flashes; Night sweats weight gain during, 73–74, 294–302 Pernicious anemia, 39 Pesticides, 32 Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, 348 PharmaDerm, 347 Phenelzine, 303 Phenobarbital, 306 Phenytoin, 123 Phobias, 39 Photosensitivity, 48 Phytoestrogens, 133, 182, 193–201, 227, 316 PhytoPharmica/Enzymatic Therapies, 205 Pierpaoli, Walter, 186–92, 351, 357 Pilates, 235–37 Pineal gland, 15, 180, 184–85, 187–89, 311 Pituitary gland, 15–17, 19–20, 53, 60, 126, 180, 211, 311 failure of, 38 tumors of, 26, 138 Placenta, 17 Plantar fasciitis, 37, 43 Plummer’s nails, 50, 86 Polycistic ovary syndrome, 26, 38, 65, 327 Polyglandular autoimmune syndrome, 38 Polymenorrhea, 39 Portion size, reducing, 218–19, 324 Positive attitude, benefits of, 270–72 Power-Surge, 175, 334, 335, 345 Pranayama, 283 Precursor hormones, see specific hormones Prednisone, 34, 36, 295 Prefest, 156 Pregnancy, 55, 60, 64 during perimenopause, 69, 70, 137 thyroid problems and, 27–28 Pregnenolone, 6, 59, 142, 182 Premarin, 3, 8, 150, 152, 164, 165, 168, 171, 217, 329, 346 Premenopause, see Perimenopause Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), 55, 61, 68, 179, 206, 271 Premphase, 8, 156, 163, 346 Prempro, 3, 8, 147, 152, 156, 158, 163, 164, 168, 169, 171, 329, 346 Pretibial myxedema, 43–44, 86 Prevention magazine, 273, 334 Prior, Jerilynn, 61–62, 72–73, 308–9, 318, 357 Probiotics, 126–27 Processed foods, 220–21, 324 Prochieve, 145, 347 ProGest Cream, 146 Progesterone, 4–6, 14, 16, 59, 182, 185, 302 blood tests for, 139–41 in menstrual cycle, 54, 55 in perimenopause/menopause, 60–62, 75, 77, 80 therapy, 144–48, 152, 156–61, 165, 173, 295, 309, 312 Prolactin, 16 Prolapse, 76, 137 Promensil, 195, 197 Prometrium, 8, 145, 148, 164, 169, 348 Propecia, 313 Propranolol, 34, 36, 105, 303 Propylthiouracil (PTU), 21, 105, 113, 205 ProSom, 293 Protein, 297 low-fat sources of, 220, 296 Provera, 144, 165, 217, 348 Prozac, 121, 292, 295, 296, 303, 306, 317 Psoriasis, 27, 43 Psychotherapy, 304, 307 Puberty, 53, 60, 175, 271 Puffiness, 50 Pulmonary embolism, 154, 158 Pycnogenol, 207 Pygeum, 314 Pyridoxine, 125 Quazepam, 293 Questran, 122 Radiation therapy, 32, 65, 67, 107 Radioactive iodine (RAI), 21, 22, 25, 65, 105–8, 132, 227 Radioactive iodine uptake (RAI-U) scan, 94–95, 97, 98 Radium therapy, 32–33 Raloxifene, 35, 36, 153, 306 Ranitidine, 35, 306 Raynaud’s disease, 27 Red clover, 181–82, 194, 195 Red Hot Mamas, 305, 345 Red raspberry leaf tea, 310 Reflexes, 21, 85 Regelson, Walter, 351 Reglan, 36 Reiss, Uzzi, 144, 147, 172, 174, 178, 190, 344, 357 Religious beliefs, 286, 326 Remeron, 292, 303 Remifemin, 202, 203 Replens, 315 Reproductive hormone pathway, 58–60 Resmethrin, 32 Restoril, 293 Reversal of Aging (Pierpaoli), 351 Reverse T3 test, 92 Rheumatoid arthritis, 27 Riboflavin, 125 Rifampin, 123 Robert, Teri, 82, 357 Roberts, Bruce, 354 Roberts, Molly, 166, 190, 191, 198, 224, 277, 278, 280, 320–21, 354, 357 Rogaine, 313 Rotsaert, Stefanie, 272, 334–35 Royal Maca, 180–84, 308, 310, 351 Safe, 206 St.


pages: 371 words: 98,534

Red Flags: Why Xi's China Is in Jeopardy by George Magnus

3D printing, 9 dash line, Admiral Zheng, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, balance sheet recession, banking crisis, Bretton Woods, BRICs, British Empire, business process, capital controls, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cloud computing, colonial exploitation, corporate governance, crony capitalism, currency manipulation / currency intervention, currency peg, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, financial deregulation, financial innovation, financial repression, fixed income, floating exchange rates, full employment, Gini coefficient, global reserve currency, high net worth, hiring and firing, Hyman Minsky, income inequality, industrial robot, Internet of things, invention of movable type, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, labour market flexibility, labour mobility, land reform, Malacca Straits, means of production, megacity, money market fund, moral hazard, non-tariff barriers, Northern Rock, offshore financial centre, old age dependency ratio, open economy, peer-to-peer lending, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, regulatory arbitrage, rent-seeking, reserve currency, rising living standards, risk tolerance, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special drawing rights, special economic zone, speech recognition, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, total factor productivity, trade route, urban planning, Washington Consensus, women in the workforce, working-age population, zero-sum game

China also plans to expand the number of airports in the country from 206 to 272 by 2020, half as many again as existed in 2011. Beijing’s second international airport is expected to open in June 2019, complete with seven runways and the capacity to process 72 million passengers a year. Just 50 kilometres south of Beijing, moreover, in a backwater of Hebei province, there are plans to build a new megacity, called Xiong’an New Area, which is supposed to rival Shanghai and Shenzhen one day. It is thought that the project could attract 3–6 million people over the next decade, along with RMB 1–2 trillion of investment, making it the biggest single infrastructure project in the history of modern China.6 Yet, for all these and similar statistics, there is also a litany of stories about ghost towns with empty apartment blocs and few residents, lonely and underused airports in impoverished counties of China, empty roads, the chronic overcapacity of multiple transportation projects to the same access point, and industrial zones that are barely occupied, and to which foreign companies rarely go.7 It is all very well to argue that, in the long run, more people living in more cities will gradually chip away at the overcapacity in infrastructure.

Such policies would most likely help to lower household savings, accelerating a change that will probably happen anyway over time as China ages. The working-age population is now in decline, and the old-age dependency ratio is predicted to double between 2017 and 2030. Social benefits should rise and be extended to all working people and their families. The growth in services should be actively encouraged, both in megacities such as Beijing or Shanghai, which are already well -served, but also and importantly in other cities, especially those inland, which are not.28 Modern service industries, which remain relatively closed, could be deregulated and opened up, for example in a wide range of communication, professional, business, entertainment and information services. Income inequality should be lowered across both income groups and regions.


pages: 102 words: 33,345

24/7: Late Capitalism and the Ends of Sleep by Jonathan Crary

augmented reality, Berlin Wall, dematerialisation, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, Fall of the Berlin Wall, invention of movable type, Kevin Kelly, late capitalism, mass incarceration, megacity, planetary scale, Ponzi scheme

In many ways the uncertain status of sleep has to be understood in relation to the particular dynamic of modernity which has invalidated any organization of reality into binary complementaries. The homogenizing force of capitalism is incompatible with any inherent structure of differentiation: sacred-profane, carnival-workday, nature-culture, machine-organism, and so on. Thus any persisting notions of sleep as somehow “natural” are rendered unacceptable. Of course, people will continue to sleep, and even sprawling megacities will still have nocturnal intervals of relative quiescence. Nonetheless, sleep is now an experience cut loose from notions of necessity or nature. Instead, like so much else, it is conceptualized as a variable but managed function that can only be defined instrumentally and physiologically. Recent research has shown that the number of people who wake themselves up once or more at night to check their messages or data is growing exponentially.


pages: 431 words: 107,868

The Great Race: The Global Quest for the Car of the Future by Levi Tillemann

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, car-free, carbon footprint, cleantech, creative destruction, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, demand response, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, en.wikipedia.org, energy security, factory automation, global value chain, hydrogen economy, index card, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, manufacturing employment, market design, megacity, Nixon shock, obamacare, oil shock, Ralph Nader, RFID, rolodex, Ronald Reagan, Rubik’s Cube, self-driving car, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, skunkworks, smart cities, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Steve Jobs, Tesla Model S, too big to fail, Unsafe at Any Speed, zero-sum game, Zipcar

But outside, the air was chewy with soot and skies were gray. The phalanx of electric cars and buses commissioned for the Expo stopped at a chain-linked frontier demarcating the boundaries of Wan Gang’s eco-wonderland and China 2010. Real life meant navigating manic waves of oil-burning SAICs, VWs, Audis, and Buicks. Indeed, the 100 million automobiles on China’s roads had become a distinctly mixed blessing. China’s megacities were stifled by putrid smog and gridlocked. No doubt, this is why in 2009 China’s government announced ambitious plans to leapfrog the West in developing and deploying electric vehicles. In two short years, Wan Gang promised that China would deploy 500,000 domestically produced EVs. But even in 2010, there were signs that this vision was faltering. Few analysts were ready to say that the emperor—or perhaps the debutante—had no clothes.

If China’s leadership can absorb these lessons and takes advantage of its early failures to engage in self-reflection and ask hard questions, China’s failure might yet prove a blessing. But there are conflicting signals from the country’s new rulers as to whether that is likely, or even conceivable. On the one hand, in the winter of 2013–14 China confronted a crisis of air pollution that was too damaging and painful to ignore. Researchers estimated that China’s people were losing about five years off their lives to air pollution.13 Although megacities throttled back car sales, many of the problems were already baked into the fiber of the Chinese economy. New policies were implemented to promote EV sales and these policies started to address some of the structural problems with the country’s prior EV effort. But steps were tentative. Indeed, they seemed to reflect China’s preference for slow, evolutionary reform—or as Deng Xiaoping called it, “crossing the river by touching the stones.”


pages: 385 words: 111,113

Augmented: Life in the Smart Lane by Brett King

23andMe, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, agricultural Revolution, Airbnb, Albert Einstein, Amazon Web Services, Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic, Apple II, artificial general intelligence, asset allocation, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, bitcoin, blockchain, business intelligence, business process, call centre, chief data officer, Chris Urmson, Clayton Christensen, clean water, congestion charging, crowdsourcing, cryptocurrency, deskilling, different worldview, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, distributed ledger, double helix, drone strike, Elon Musk, Erik Brynjolfsson, Fellow of the Royal Society, fiat currency, financial exclusion, Flash crash, Flynn Effect, future of work, gig economy, Google Glasses, Google X / Alphabet X, Hans Lippershey, Hyperloop, income inequality, industrial robot, information asymmetry, Internet of things, invention of movable type, invention of the printing press, invention of the telephone, invention of the wheel, James Dyson, Jeff Bezos, job automation, job-hopping, John Markoff, John von Neumann, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, Leonard Kleinrock, lifelogging, low earth orbit, low skilled workers, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Minecraft, mobile money, money market fund, more computing power than Apollo, Network effects, new economy, obamacare, Occupy movement, Oculus Rift, off grid, packet switching, pattern recognition, peer-to-peer, Ray Kurzweil, RFID, ride hailing / ride sharing, Robert Metcalfe, Satoshi Nakamoto, Second Machine Age, selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI), self-driving car, sharing economy, Shoshana Zuboff, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, smart cities, smart grid, smart transportation, Snapchat, social graph, software as a service, speech recognition, statistical model, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, strong AI, TaskRabbit, technological singularity, telemarketer, telepresence, telepresence robot, Tesla Model S, The Future of Employment, Tim Cook: Apple, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Turing complete, Turing test, uber lyft, undersea cable, urban sprawl, V2 rocket, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, white picket fence, WikiLeaks

Today, mortality rates in cities are lower than in rural areas, mainly because we have immediate access to better doctors and more hospitals. Today, cities like London and New York have stopped growing, but cities like Lagos, Mumbai (formerly Bombay) and Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) are growing rapidly. About 40 cities around the world have a population of over 5 million. Five million is what you need today to reach “megacity” status. About 80 per cent of these megacities are in poorer or developing countries, primarily due to influx associated with people seeking employment. The list of benefits for “city-augmented” people living in the largest cities of the world is extensive and includes: 1. Public security in the form of police, fire and emergency medical technicians who will show up within minutes of an emergency services call, and often already know your location by tracking the phone that originated the call. 2.


The Metropolitan Revolution: How Cities and Metros Are Fixing Our Broken Politics and Fragile Economy by Bruce Katz, Jennifer Bradley

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, British Empire, business climate, carbon footprint, clean water, cleantech, collapse of Lehman Brothers, deindustrialization, demographic transition, desegregation, double entry bookkeeping, edge city, Edward Glaeser, global supply chain, immigration reform, income inequality, industrial cluster, intermodal, Jane Jacobs, jitney, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, lone genius, longitudinal study, Mark Zuckerberg, Masdar, megacity, Menlo Park, Moneyball by Michael Lewis explains big data, Network effects, new economy, New Urbanism, Occupy movement, place-making, postindustrial economy, purchasing power parity, race to the bottom, Richard Florida, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart grid, sovereign wealth fund, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the market place, The Spirit Level, Tony Hsieh, too big to fail, trade route, transit-oriented development, urban planning, white flight

Economies that do not add new kinds of goods and services, but continue only to repeat old work, do not expand much nor do they, by definition, develop.”51 More specifically, if a metropolitan area starts to lose its export orientation and forgets about the need to make things or provide services that are competitive on a national or international scale, eventually even its local market will become stuck.52 The Applied Sciences campuses are, in essence, a major push for New York to create more things to sell to the rest of the country and the rest of the world. The vast Greater New York metropolitan area sells only about 7 percent of what it produces to other countries—ranking it 93rd of the largest 100 U.S. metros.53 But the “built environment” solutions that all of the Applied Sciences campuses are working on could be in tremendous demand across the globe. As more and more people move to megacities in the coming decades, and the demand for energy soars, cities will need ways to build more efficient buildings in more efficient configurations. Take the smart parking systems that the researchers and students at CUSP in Brooklyn will work on. Rapidly urbanizing cities in Asia “face alarming predicaments over parking,” according to one report.54 Beijing and New Delhi add more than 1,000 new vehicles a day to their roads— without commensurate increases in parking spaces.55 (Beijing has 740,000 parking spaces for 5 million cars.)56 Drivers and transportation departments in these places will be very interested in acquiring this technology.

Cities are no longer expected to define or police the system, as they were in medieval times; rather, they leverage the infrastructure of their existing nations and build on their distinctive sectors and competitive advantages. What would a twenty-first-century network of trading cities look like? The climate arena might provide some insight into what could transpire. In 2005 groups of local leaders, frustrated with the slow pace of national and global action on climate change, formed the C20 (now C40) Cities Climate Leadership Group, “a network of the world’s megacities taking action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.” Now led by New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, the coalition is helping individual cities forge “innovative solutions to common sources of greenhouse gas emissions” to “provide proven models that other cities and national governments can adopt.” In 2007 New York City, for example, pioneered PlaNYC 2030, a comprehensive plan for the green growth of the city; in 2012 Copenhagen made an ambitious commitment to turn itself carbon neutral by 2025 07-2151-2 ch7.indd 168 5/20/13 6:55 PM A GLOBAL NETWORK OF TRADING CITIES 169 through shifts to clean energy sources and extensive deployment of energy efficiency techniques and technology.


pages: 615 words: 187,426

Chinese Spies: From Chairman Mao to Xi Jinping by Roger Faligot

active measures, Albert Einstein, anti-communist, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, business intelligence, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Fall of the Berlin Wall, housing crisis, illegal immigration, index card, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, new economy, offshore financial centre, Pearl River Delta, Port of Oakland, RAND corporation, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, special economic zone, stem cell, union organizing, young professional, éminence grise

Its positioning within the WTO, the negotiation of intellectual property treaties, the definition of commercial strategies, the acquisition of new technologies, the creation of joint ventures—all these activities and many others demanded the deployment of economic intelligence techniques and expertise at a national level. On the international stage, this apparatus was augmented by parallel structures in megacities like Shanghai, Chongqing and Canton, as well as in provinces such as Shandong, where “siphoning” systems particularly effective for economic intelligence had been implemented. Committees for twinning cities and other forms of exchange were also exploited by regional structures. At the State Council, MOFCOM was overseen by Deputy Prime Minister Wu Yi, described in 2004 by Forbes magazine as the second most powerful woman in the world, after then US National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice.

A former trade minister, he was part of the fifth generation of leaders since Mao Zedong had brought the CCP to power in 1949, a Red Prince who wanted to turn China into a superpower, even daring to hope that the country would overtake the US economically by 2030. The affair was even more delicate given that Bo was the brother-in-law of Jia Chunwang, the Guoanbu minister from 1985 to 1997. Taking his place in the family line, the ambitious and undeniably charismatic Bo Xilai was mayor of Chongqing, a megacity with 30 million inhabitants. He was the son of Bo Yibo, a veteran of Mao’s Long March, who had been a minister under Deng Xiaoping. Bo Junior took after his father. He managed to unite the two Chinese communist traditions, having built up a considerable fortune during his city’s rapid development and having profited from the inevitable cronyism that came with it, while still promoting neo-Maoist ideology, recalling the tormented period of the Cultural Revolution, when Mao dispatched hordes of Red Guards to attack party leaders deemed too reformist.

On 10 September 2015, the Beijing Youth Daily announced changes in leadership at the Guoanbu regional offices in Shanxi, Guizhou, Shandong, Xinjiang, Shanghai, Hainan and Henan. Indeed, following Zhou Yongkang’s failed coup in 2013, transfers, arrests and purges began to multiply rapidly in 2015 under Chen’s leadership. I have been able to identify the main Guoanbu regional directors, who will no doubt remain in their positions for years to come unless they, in turn, become the victims of denunciations. In alphabetical order of provinces and megacities: Hebei (Liu Zengqi), Heilongjiang (Chen Donghui), Hubei (Zhang Qikuan), Hunan (Liang Jianqiang), Jiangsu (Liu Yong), Liaoning (Wei Chunjiang), Shandong (Jiang Lianjun), Shanghai (Dong Weimin), Shanxi (Wang Xiuwen), Sichuan (Zhao Jian), and Zhejiang (Huang Baokun). In Beijing, Li Dong, a specialist in Russian affairs, has replaced Liang Ke, who is now in prison. On 7 November 2016, Chen Wenqing was officially named overall head of the Guoanbu, and his predecessor Geng was named advisor to the Central Leading Group for Taiwan Affairs at the Central Foreign Affairs Commission; he also remained on the political-legal commission overseeing security and the coordination of the security and intelligence services.


pages: 161 words: 37,042

Viruses: A Very Short Introduction (Very Short Introductions) by Crawford, Dorothy H.

clean water, coronavirus, discovery of penicillin, Francisco Pizarro, hygiene hypothesis, Louis Pasteur, megacity, Nelson Mandela, stem cell

A population of this size brings many problems, not least diminishing natural resources, increasing pollution, loss of biodiversity, and global warming. But as far as emerging virus infections are concerned, the most acute problem is literal around 5,000 to 10,000 years agoes6Ply lack of space. We have already seen how invading the territories of wild animals, be it to chop down the rain forest, hunt for food, or extend our cities, risks acquiring unknown, sometimes lethal, viruses. With over 50% of us now living in megacities, like Tokyo with over 35 million inhabitants, viruses, once acquired, find it very easy to spread between us. This is particularly so among poor city dwellers in resource-poor countries, with the inhabitants of shanty towns living in cramped, unhygienic shacks where the lack of fresh air and clean water, and absence of sewage disposal, provides easy access for microbes of all sorts. As illustrated by HIV, SARS, and swine flu, successful local spread soon leads to international dissemination.


pages: 422 words: 113,525

Whole Earth Discipline: An Ecopragmatist Manifesto by Stewart Brand

agricultural Revolution, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, back-to-the-land, biofilm, borderless world, Buckminster Fuller, business process, Cass Sunstein, clean water, Community Supported Agriculture, conceptual framework, Danny Hillis, dark matter, decarbonisation, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Elon Musk, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Geoffrey West, Santa Fe Institute, glass ceiling, Google Earth, Hans Rosling, Hernando de Soto, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invention of agriculture, invention of the steam engine, Jane Jacobs, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, Kibera, land tenure, lateral thinking, low earth orbit, M-Pesa, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, microbiome, New Urbanism, orbital mechanics / astrodynamics, out of africa, Paul Graham, peak oil, Peter Calthorpe, Richard Florida, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, smart grid, stem cell, Stewart Brand, The Fortune at the Bottom of the Pyramid, Thomas Malthus, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, urban renewal, wealth creators, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, William Langewiesche, working-age population, Y2K

The world looks the way it did a thousand years ago, when the ten largest cities were Córdoba, in Spain; Kaifeng, in China; Constantinople; Angkor, in Cambodia; Kyoto; Cairo; Baghdad; Nishapur, in Iran; Al-Hasa, in Saudi Arabia; and Patan, in India. As Swedish statistician Hans Rosling says, “The world will be normal again; it will be an Asian world, as it always was except for these last thousand years. They are working like hell to make that happen, whereas we are consuming like hell.” • It may be distracting, though, to focus just on the world’s twenty-four megacities—those with a population over 10 million. The real action is in what the United Nations calls small cities (fewer than 500,000 inhabitants; home to half of the world’s city dwellers) and intermediate cities (1 million to 5 million, where 22 percent of urbanites live). A UN report points out: “They are often the first places where the social urban transformation of families and individuals occurs; by offering economic linkages between rural and urban environments, they can provide a ‘first step’ out of poverty for impoverished rural populations and a gateway to opportunities in larger cities.”

When defense against raids by nomadic Apaches and Navajos became irrelevant after the conquest by whites, the Pueblos all dispersed into scattered buildings (except where high-rise density is maintained partly for tourists, as at Taos and Acoma). “The earliest meaning of ‘town,’ said the urban scholar Lewis Mumford, “is an enclosed or fortified place.” Agriculture, it appears, was an early invention by the dwellers of walled towns to allow their settlements to keep growing, as in Geoffrey West’s formulation. Today’s megacities rely on the same flow of innovation. A 2006 UN-HABITAT report proposed thatCities are engines of rural development. . . . Improved infrastructure between rural areas and cities increases rural productivity and enhances rural residents’ access to education, health care, markets, credit, information and other services. On the other hand, enhanced urban-rural linkages benefit cities through increased rural demand for urban goods and services and added value derived from agricultural produce.


pages: 396 words: 117,897

Making the Modern World: Materials and Dematerialization by Vaclav Smil

2013 Report for America's Infrastructure - American Society of Civil Engineers - 19 March 2013, additive manufacturing, American Society of Civil Engineers: Report Card, British Empire, decarbonisation, deindustrialization, dematerialisation, Deng Xiaoping, energy transition, Fellow of the Royal Society, global pandemic, Haber-Bosch Process, happiness index / gross national happiness, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, megacity, megastructure, oil shale / tar sands, peak oil, post-industrial society, purchasing power parity, recommendation engine, rolodex, X Prize

Preface: Why and How The story of humanity – evolution of our species; prehistoric shift from foraging to permanent agriculture; rise and fall of antique, medieval, and early modern civilizations; economic advances of the past two centuries; mechanization of agriculture; diversification and automation of industrial protection; enormous increases in energy consumption; diffusion of new communication and information networks; and impressive gains in quality of life – would not have been possible without an expanding and increasingly intricate and complex use of materials. Human ingenuity has turned these materials first into simple clothes, tools, weapons, and shelters, later into more elaborate dwellings, religious and funerary structures, pure and alloyed metals, and in recent generations into extensive industrial and transportation infrastructures, megacities, synthetic and composite compounds, and into substrates and enablers of a new electronic world. This material progress has not been a linear advance but has consisted of two unequal periods. First was the very slow rise that extended from pre-history to the beginnings of rapid economic modernization, that is, until the eighteenth century in most of Europe, until the nineteenth century in the USA, Canada, and Japan, and until the latter half of the twentieth century in Latin America, the Middle East, and China.

And while the mass of paper landfilled in the USA in 2010 was half of the total in 1990 (26.7 vs 52.5 Mt), during the same two decades the mass of discarded plastics rose by 70% and the total of buried polymers, 28.5 Mt, was greater than the combined annual production in Germany and France (Plastics Europe, 2012). Or another comparison: a destitute waste collector may spend a day collecting a mass of 1 kg of plastic shopping bags when rummaging the open garbage tips of Asia's megacities, while the USA buries nearly 80 000 t of plastic in its landfills every day. While in the USA only about 8% of discarded plastics were recovered in 2010 (with the rate ranging from 23% for PET (polyethylene terephthalate) bottles to less than1% for PP (polypropylene) waste), the EU's goal for 2020 is full diversion of plastic waste from landfills (EPRO, 2011). This would require a 50% increase of the 2010 recovery rate of 66%, roughly split between recycling and incineration for energy recovery.


pages: 179 words: 43,441

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab

3D printing, additive manufacturing, Airbnb, Amazon Mechanical Turk, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, barriers to entry, Baxter: Rethink Robotics, bitcoin, blockchain, Buckminster Fuller, call centre, clean water, collaborative consumption, commoditize, conceptual framework, continuous integration, crowdsourcing, digital twin, disintermediation, disruptive innovation, distributed ledger, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, epigenetics, Erik Brynjolfsson, future of work, global value chain, Google Glasses, income inequality, Internet Archive, Internet of things, invention of the steam engine, job automation, job satisfaction, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, life extension, Lyft, mass immigration, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, more computing power than Apollo, mutually assured destruction, Narrative Science, Network effects, Nicholas Carr, personalized medicine, precariat, precision agriculture, Productivity paradox, race to the bottom, randomized controlled trial, reshoring, RFID, rising living standards, Sam Altman, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, self-driving car, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, smart cities, smart contracts, software as a service, Stephen Hawking, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stuxnet, supercomputer in your pocket, TaskRabbit, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, total factor productivity, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, WikiLeaks, winner-take-all economy, women in the workforce, working-age population, Y Combinator, Zipcar

It is clear that neither countries nor regions can flourish if their cities (innovation ecosystems) are not being continually nourished. Cities have been the engines of economic growth, prosperity and social progress throughout history, and will be essential to the future competitiveness of nations and regions. Today, more than half of the world’s population lives in urban areas, ranging from mid-size cities to megacities, and the number of city dwellers worldwide keeps rising. Many factors that affect the competitiveness of countries and regions – from innovation and education to infrastructure and public administration – are under the purview of cities. The speed and breadth by which cities absorb and deploy technology, supported by agile policy frameworks, will determine their ability to compete in attracting talent.


pages: 428 words: 121,717

Warnings by Richard A. Clarke

active measures, Albert Einstein, algorithmic trading, anti-communist, artificial general intelligence, Asilomar, Asilomar Conference on Recombinant DNA, Bernie Madoff, cognitive bias, collateralized debt obligation, complexity theory, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, discovery of penicillin, double helix, Elon Musk, failed state, financial thriller, fixed income, Flash crash, forensic accounting, friendly AI, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, James Watt: steam engine, Jeff Bezos, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, knowledge worker, Maui Hawaii, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, money market fund, mouse model, Nate Silver, new economy, Nicholas Carr, nuclear winter, pattern recognition, personalized medicine, phenotype, Ponzi scheme, Ray Kurzweil, Richard Feynman, Richard Feynman: Challenger O-ring, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, Sam Altman, Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart grid, statistical model, Stephen Hawking, Stuxnet, technological singularity, The Future of Employment, the scientific method, The Signal and the Noise by Nate Silver, Tunguska event, uranium enrichment, Vernor Vinge, Watson beat the top human players on Jeopardy!, women in the workforce, Y2K

CHAPTER 13 The Weatherman: Nuclear Ice Age In no other type of warfare does the advantage lie so heavily with the aggressor. —JAMES FRANCK As night fell, a small boat docked near downtown. Ten men got off and climbed up onto the pier. Some hailed taxis. Others just blended into the mass of humanity, the twenty million people who crowded into the seaside city. Hours later it began, a three-day orgy of death and destruction that put one of the world’s megacities on lockdown. Eight thousand miles away, on the campus of Rutgers University in New Jersey, the massacre left American climate scientist Alan Robock fearing his theory was about to be tested. The men from the boat had taken automatic weapons and bombs from their backpacks and assaulted nine facilities, including the main train station, the two finest hotels, and a Jewish cultural center. They had never been to Mumbai before, but they had studied their targets using Google images and maps.

Based on the three wars that India and Pakistan have fought since the two nations came into existence in 1948, it is not hard to imagine the degree of aggression with which India would attack. Supported by close air support and artillery, India’s armored corps would roll into the Pakistani Punjab and toward the major city of Lahore, just across the border in central Pakistan. In the south, Indian forces would speed across the salt plains of the Rann of Kutch and the Thar Desert toward Pakistan’s megacity of Karachi on the Arabian Sea. The Indian attack would stop, however, perhaps fifty miles into Pakistan. Cold Start would have limited objectives. The objective would be to damage Pakistan’s military and its economy and also to demonstrate that India was not deterred by Pakistan’s nuclear weapons. India would attempt to show that it could still use its military strength to force Pakistan to pay a price for its terrorism in India.


pages: 440 words: 128,813

Heat Wave: A Social Autopsy of Disaster in Chicago by Eric Klinenberg

carbon footprint, citizen journalism, deindustrialization, fixed income, ghettoisation, informal economy, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Jane Jacobs, longitudinal study, loose coupling, mass immigration, megacity, New Urbanism, postindustrial economy, smart grid, smart meter, The Chicago School, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere, urban renewal, War on Poverty

See Esping-Anderson’s The Three Worlds of Welfare Capitalism (1990, 23) for a concise argument that the welfare state is a stratifying institution. “The welfare state,” he explains, “is not just a mechanism that intervenes in, and possibly corrects, the structure of inequality; it is, in its own right, a system of stratification. It is an active force in the ordering of social relations.” For discussions of the role of the state in producing vulnerability to urban disasters, see the essays collected in Crucibles of Hazard: Mega-Cities and Disasters in Transition (Mitchell, ed. 1999). Davis has made this point in two of his recent books. He documents the role of the state in producing vulnerability to extreme climatic events in nineteenth-century India, China, and Brazil in Late Victorian Holocausts (2001), and for contemporary Los Angeles in Ecology of Fear (1998). 20. See American Pharaoh for a discussion of Richard J. Daley’s passion for city beautification programs (Cohen and Taylor 2000, 166–67). 21.

Heat wave ravages seniors, Daley passes buck. Metro Senior, pp. 1, 3. Meyerhoff, Barbara. 1978. Number our days. New York: Touchstone Books. Miethe, Terance. 1995. Fear and withdrawal. The Annals of the American Academy 539:14–29. Miller, Ross. 1990. American apocalypse: The Great Fire and the myth of Chicago. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Mitchell, James, ed. 1999. Crucibles of hazard: Mega-cities and disasters in transition. Tokyo: United Nations University Press. Mitchell, Mary, and Gilbert Jimenez. 1995. CDC endorses county coroner’s heat findings. Chicago Sun-Times, 28 July, p. 12. Molotch, Harvey, and Marilyn Lester. 1974. News as purposive behavior: On the strategic use of routine events, accidents, and scandals. American Sociological Review 39:101–12. . 1975. Accidental news: The great oil spill as local occurrence and national event.


pages: 381 words: 120,361

Sunfall by Jim Al-Khalili

airport security, artificial general intelligence, augmented reality, Carrington event, cosmological constant, cryptocurrency, dark matter, David Attenborough, Fellow of the Royal Society, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), Internet of things, invisible hand, Kickstarter, mass immigration, megacity, MITM: man-in-the-middle, off grid, pattern recognition, Silicon Valley, smart cities, sorting algorithm, South China Sea, stem cell, Stephen Hawking, Turing test

He switched on the cabin’s exterior projection, so that the feed from the hundreds of tiny cameras covering the outer surface of the plane mapped onto the interior of the windowless fuselage, making it appear entirely transparent to the passengers. But it was a pointless exercise. Ordinarily, the panoramic view this gave as the plane came in to land would have been a quite dramatic experience, with the lights of the mostly still sleeping megacity spread out below. Instead, they were greeted by a wall of white thanks to the thick fog that often engulfed Indira Gandhi Airport at this time of year. They’d been circling in a holding pattern at three thousand metres for forty minutes now, waiting their turn to land. Suddenly several of his displays went blank. It looked like an issue with the satnav system. He waited a few minutes for the aircraft’s AI to resolve the matter.

People had quickly got used to relying on their cars’ computers to do all the driving while they sat in comfort within their air-conditioned environment. Weaving her way carefully around the stationary cars blocking her path, she noted the bemused looks on the faces of the passengers, suggesting that whatever had stopped the traffic had only happened recently. None of the cars on the westbound side were moving either, so it had to be a problem with the city’s AI. But the Minds that ran the very largest megacities around the world simply didn’t go down. Ever. She felt a creeping unease. Pulling over, she dismounted and blinked on her AR. The feed was dead. No reason to freak out just yet, girl – just because the entire net is down! She steadied her breathing. Logic before panic. After all, she’d spent the last few days worrying about the Sun’s abnormal activity, but that did not mean that this internet blackout was in any way related.


pages: 481 words: 121,300

Why geography matters: three challenges facing America : climate change, the rise of China, and global terrorism by Harm J. De Blij

agricultural Revolution, airport security, Anton Chekhov, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial exploitation, complexity theory, computer age, crony capitalism, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Eratosthenes, European colonialism, F. W. de Klerk, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global village, illegal immigration, Internet Archive, John Snow's cholera map, Khyber Pass, manufacturing employment, megacity, Mercator projection, MITM: man-in-the-middle, Nelson Mandela, out of africa, RAND corporation, risk tolerance, Ronald Reagan, South China Sea, special economic zone, Thomas Malthus, trade route, transatlantic slave trade, UNCLOS, UNCLOS

Then, about 18,000 years ago, global warming sent those glaciers into fast recession, so fast that whole regions rapidly emerged EARTH'S CHANGEABLE ENVIRONMENTS 73 from under the ice, huge ice sheets shd into the oceans, the sealevel rose, the margins of the continents were submerged, land bridges between continents and islands were inundated, and the map of the physical world began to look similar to the one we know today. Twelve thousand years ago, cold conditions made a brief comeback, but that did not last. From about 10,000 years ago until today, humanity has thrived in the warmth of a prolonged interglacial we call the Holocene, but unlike the Eemian, the Holocene has witnessed the emergence of complex cultures and civilizations, the population explosion, the formation of states and empires, the growth of megacities, and the burgeoning of technology in countless forms. It has also seen wars and destruction on an unprecedented scale. With our human numbers approaching 7 billion and global warming opening the last niches for habitation, the question is: what happens when the ice returns, as it has more than two dozen times during the Pleistocene? CLIMATE AND CIVILIZATION When the long dominance of the Wisconsinan Glaciation finally came to an end and the vast, thick glaciers that had covered all of Canada and most of the United States Midwest began to recede, planet Earth embarked on an environmental transformation not seen for more than a hundred thousand years.

Sooner or later we will face extremes that come upon us quickly and will give us little time to find ways to cope with the consequences. For all our technological prowess, we still depend on nature to sustain us. We are living, in the words of the geneticist Stephen Oppenheimer, in the autumn of the interglacial Holocene, the brief epoch that has witnessed the transformation of our human world from small villages to megacities and from simple to complex cultures, from isolated communities to intercon- 86 WHY GEOGRAPHY MATTERS nected empires and from stone tools to spacecraft. On the scale of our lifetimes, it has all happened in the past few seconds, and our modern experience with the kinds of challenges nature can pose—from meteor impacts to glacia-tions—is virtually nil. We will never be able to control climate change, but we may be able to mitigate it somewhat by limiting our greenhouse-gas emanations.


pages: 1,373 words: 300,577

The Quest: Energy, Security, and the Remaking of the Modern World by Daniel Yergin

"Robert Solow", addicted to oil, Albert Einstein, Asian financial crisis, Ayatollah Khomeini, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, bioinformatics, borderless world, BRICs, business climate, carbon footprint, Carmen Reinhart, cleantech, Climategate, Climatic Research Unit, colonial rule, Colonization of Mars, corporate governance, cuban missile crisis, data acquisition, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, Dissolution of the Soviet Union, diversification, diversified portfolio, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, Exxon Valdez, facts on the ground, Fall of the Berlin Wall, fear of failure, financial innovation, flex fuel, global supply chain, global village, high net worth, hydraulic fracturing, income inequality, index fund, informal economy, interchangeable parts, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), James Watt: steam engine, John von Neumann, Kenneth Rogoff, life extension, Long Term Capital Management, Malacca Straits, market design, means of production, megacity, Menlo Park, Mikhail Gorbachev, Mohammed Bouazizi, mutually assured destruction, new economy, Norman Macrae, North Sea oil, nuclear winter, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, Paul Samuelson, peak oil, Piper Alpha, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, rent-seeking, rising living standards, Robert Metcalfe, Robert Shiller, Robert Shiller, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, Sand Hill Road, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, smart grid, smart meter, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, Stuxnet, technology bubble, the built environment, The Nature of the Firm, the new new thing, trade route, transaction costs, unemployed young men, University of East Anglia, uranium enrichment, William Langewiesche, Yom Kippur War

This build-out of China over the next two or three decades will be one of the defining forces not just for China but for the world economy. It is certainly one of the main explanations for a long-lasting boom in commodities. China’s urban population is growing very fast. In 1978 the country was only 18 percent urbanized. Today it is almost 50 percent urbanized, with more than 170 cities over a million people, and a number of megacities with populations exceeding 10 million. Every year another 20 million or so Chinese move from the countryside looking for work and housing and a higher standard of living. Asked by George W. Bush what worry kept him up at night, President Hu Jintao said that his biggest concern was “creating 25 million new jobs a year.” That was the basic requirement for both development and social stability.3 As a result of this build-out, the country has become a vast construction site for homes and factories and offices and public services, requiring not only more energy but also more commodities of all kinds—a seemingly endless demand for concrete, steel, and copper wiring.

Or, more radically, will the real winner be the out-andout electric vehicle, which fills up not at the gas pump but at the wall socket? Further out, there is the possibility of hydrogen-fed fuel cell–powered cars. There is another possibility as well: that new kinds transportation systems will emerge that challenge current assumptions about the ways people travel. This may be the necessary response to the impending gridlock that could paralyze so many of the world’s megacities. What we do know is that nothing fast will happen to change the world’s auto fleet. It is too large, and the turnover of the existing fleet is too slow—the average life of a car is 12 to 15 years. That is true in the developed world. In fast-growing emerging markets, however, where people who do not own cars are now acquiring them, the answer will be somewhat different—or perhaps very different—because they do not have a large existing stock of cars to replace.

That safety need will have to be met in the United States and Europe as well. And what kind of sound should it be? Carlos Ghosn has been among those at Nissan vetting sounds. “It should be something that sounds like an electric car,” he said, “pleasant, not too much, but enough.”23 ASIA FIRST? Given all of the various hurdles, where might be the first major market for EVs? Some Asian megacities present a combination of circumstances that appear conducive for the spread of EVs. Their physical infrastructure is still being built out, and thus is more ripe for “greenfield” development of chargingstations and other equipment than older urban areas in the United States and Europe. At the same time, air pollution in these cities can be stifling, and coughing, disgruntled citizens have been pressing governments to improve air quality.


pages: 188 words: 54,942

Drone Warfare: Killing by Remote Control by Medea Benjamin

airport security, autonomous vehicles, Chelsea Manning, clean water, Clive Stafford Smith, crowdsourcing, drone strike, friendly fire, illegal immigration, Khyber Pass, megacity, nuremberg principles, performance metric, private military company, Ralph Nader, WikiLeaks

This volatile mix has led to the destruction of village after village, and the plight of local villagers seems to be of little concern to any of the parties involved. Even when the Pakistani military declared many areas safe for families to return, the absence of reconstruction assistance and the persistence of drone attacks in the region have kept many from doing so. The flight of so many refugees has affected an even greater population—the people of the southern port city of Karachi. There are no visible drones flying over this mega-city of nearly 18 million people, but its squalid bursting streets have had to absorb massive numbers of families fleeing the conflict in the Northwest.214 A report produced by Amnesty International estimated the number of displaced at over one million. The influx sparked an outbreak of ethnic violence in Karachi between the city’s Muhajir, who are the descendants of original refugees from India, and the Pashtun, who include the recent immigrants from the Northwest provinces.


The New Map: Energy, Climate, and the Clash of Nations by Daniel Yergin

3D printing, 9 dash line, activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, addicted to oil, Admiral Zheng, Albert Einstein, American energy revolution, Asian financial crisis, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, Bakken shale, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, British Empire, coronavirus, COVID-19, Covid-19, decarbonisation, Deng Xiaoping, disruptive innovation, distributed generation, Donald Trump, Edward Snowden, Elon Musk, energy security, energy transition, failed state, gig economy, global pandemic, global supply chain, hydraulic fracturing, Indoor air pollution, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), inventory management, James Watt: steam engine, Kickstarter, LNG terminal, Lyft, Malacca Straits, Malcom McLean invented shipping containers, Masdar, mass incarceration, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, new economy, off grid, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, open economy, paypal mafia, peak oil, pension reform, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, RAND corporation, rent-seeking, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, smart cities, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, supply-chain management, trade route, Travis Kalanick, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, ubercab, UNCLOS, UNCLOS, uranium enrichment, women in the workforce

Sixteen years earlier, in 2004, the National Intelligence Council, a research organization in the U.S. intelligence community, had published a report titled Mapping the Global Future, which presented scenarios for the year 2020. One of the scenarios imagined was a pandemic in 2020. It was eerily prophetic, even as to the year: It is only a matter of time before a new pandemic appears, such as the 1918–1919 influenza virus that killed an estimated twenty million worldwide. Such a pandemic in megacities of the developing world . . . would be devastating and could spread rapidly throughout the world. Globalization would be endangered if the deaths rose into the millions in several major countries and the spread of disease put a halt to global travel and trade during an extended period, prompting governments to expend enormous resources. In 2015, Bill Gates, who was devoting much of his energies to health philanthropy, had warned that there was “great risk of global catastrophe” from a “highly infectious virus.”

By the end of 2017, over 50 percent of China’s city bus fleet was already electric.20 The New Energy Vehicles program is one of Beijing’s national industrial strategic priorities. It is switching from a “consumer-centric” model—subsidies for buyers—to a “producer-centric” one, establishing quotas for manufacturers. That means a rising share of automakers’ total production must be EVs. China also offers an enormous carrot. In the crowded megacities, one can only get a license plate through a lottery. In Beijing, the odds of winning a license plate for an oil-fueled car are tiny—1 in 907. Even then, the winner must pay a fee, which can be quite substantial—as high as $13,000. But there is a big exception: An electric car buyer can bypass the lottery and get the license automatically (although there may still be a waiting period), without having to spend money for the license.21 In 2019, almost a million EVs were sold in China—4 percent of new car sales there and more than half of all the EVs sold in the world.22 * * * — In India, there is also enthusiasm for greater electrification, which in the country encompasses the ubiquitous two-wheelers and three-wheelers as much as four-wheelers.


pages: 182 words: 56,961

The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right by Atul Gawande

Airbus A320, Atul Gawande, call centre, Captain Sullenberger Hudson, Checklist Manifesto, index card, John Snow's cholera map, megacity, RAND corporation, Tenerife airport disaster, US Airways Flight 1549, William Langewiesche

And the interventions proved to have widely transmissible benefits—what business types would term a large ROI (return on investment) or what Archimedes would have called, merely, leverage. Thinking of these essential requirements—simple, measurable, transmissible—I recalled one of my favorite public health studies. It was a joint public health program conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and HOPE, a charitable organization in Pakistan, to address the perilous rates of premature death among children in the slums of Karachi. The squatter settlements surrounding the megacity contained more than four million people living under some of the most crowded and squalid conditions in the world. Sewage ran in the streets. Chronic poverty and food shortages left 30 to 40 percent of the children malnourished. Virtually all drinking water sources were contaminated. One child in ten died before age five—usually from diarrhea or acute respiratory infections. The roots of these problems were deep and multifactorial.


pages: 261 words: 57,595

China's Future by David Shambaugh

Berlin Wall, capital controls, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, facts on the ground, financial intermediation, financial repression, Gini coefficient, high net worth, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, low skilled workers, market bubble, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, open economy, Pearl River Delta, rent-seeking, secular stagnation, short selling, South China Sea, special drawing rights, too big to fail, urban planning, Washington Consensus, working-age population, young professional

The sheer magnitude of China’s cities is hard to grasp. Today there are five cities with a population over 10 million; fourteen cities over 5 million; and 41 cities of 2 million or more.33 By 2025, McKinsey & Company estimates, 46 of the world’s 200 largest cities will be in China.34 There are plans to turn the greater Pearl River Delta—including Guangzhou, Shenzhen, and Zhuhai—into one enormous megacity () of 42 million people,35 and the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei triangle (known as Jing-Jin-Ji) into an even larger one covering 82,000 square miles and a total population of 130 million people.36 The new strategy to create megalopolises is a shift from just a few years ago when the government’s priority was to develop small and medium-sized cities.37 Creating “ecocities” and “green urbanization” are another part of the government’s plan—an appropriate goal given the environmental catastrophe that besets many Chinese cities.


pages: 195 words: 58,462

City Squares: Eighteen Writers on the Spirit and Significance of Squares Around the World by Catie Marron

Berlin Wall, carbon footprint, deindustrialization, do-ocracy, Jane Jacobs, late capitalism, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, Nelson Mandela, Occupy movement, plutocrats, Plutocrats, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, too big to fail, urban planning

I have often thought of Istanbul as the bridge in between, theoretically connecting the two worlds but, in practice, not quite belonging in either, unwelcome anywhere. Anyone who visits Istanbul today will notice that in several areas the city resembles a massive construction site. In the last decade it has undergone radical transformation and gentrification. Initially, many people supported the growth, happy to see the megacity attracting foreign investors and global capital. Some of its lost cosmopolitanism was also restored. Expats and migrants arrived, visitors from ex-Soviet republics, the Middle East, Central Asia, and the Balkans. An important LGBT movement flourished, organizing gay parades. The women’s movement increased its strength. But the urban growth came with new problems of infrastructure and traffic.


pages: 164 words: 57,068

The Second Curve: Thoughts on Reinventing Society by Charles Handy

"Robert Solow", Airbnb, basic income, Bernie Madoff, bitcoin, bonus culture, British Empire, call centre, Clayton Christensen, corporate governance, delayed gratification, Diane Coyle, disruptive innovation, Edward Snowden, falling living standards, future of work, G4S, greed is good, informal economy, Internet of things, invisible hand, joint-stock company, joint-stock limited liability company, Kickstarter, Kodak vs Instagram, late capitalism, mass immigration, megacity, mittelstand, Occupy movement, payday loans, peer-to-peer lending, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, Ronald Coase, shareholder value, sharing economy, Skype, Social Responsibility of Business Is to Increase Its Profits, Stanford marshmallow experiment, Steve Jobs, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thorstein Veblen, too big to fail, transaction costs, Veblen good, Walter Mischel

They would find it less confusing if they followed the well-established requirements of a federal body, particularly the ideas of subsidiarity, or reverse delegation, and the separation of powers. In any case, once agreed, the division of responsibilities would need to be recorded as a formal constitution. Britain is sliding slowly into a quasi-federation or what they prefer to call ‘devo max’, to avoid that dreaded f-word. The new federal Britain would include Wales, Northern Ireland, Scotland and, maybe, five English megacities or regions. Progress is complicated by the fact that it would be hard to divide up England geographically, by city or region, while England on its own would be too dominant. Surveys also reveal that while the local bureaucrats enthuse about more devolution their citizens are not so keen, preferring that the big decisions are still taken at the centre. Unusually, rather than demanding it, they might have to have autonomy thrust upon them.


pages: 210 words: 56,667

The Misfit Economy: Lessons in Creativity From Pirates, Hackers, Gangsters and Other Informal Entrepreneurs by Alexa Clay, Kyra Maya Phillips

Airbnb, Alfred Russel Wallace, Berlin Wall, Burning Man, collaborative consumption, conceptual framework, creative destruction, different worldview, disruptive innovation, double helix, fear of failure, game design, Hacker Ethic, Howard Rheingold, informal economy, invention of the steam engine, James Watt: steam engine, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, lone genius, Mark Zuckerberg, mass incarceration, megacity, Occupy movement, peer-to-peer rental, Ronald Reagan, Rosa Parks, sharing economy, Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, supply-chain management, union organizing, Whole Earth Catalog, Whole Earth Review, Zipcar

In 2007 he started working within the company on mobility solutions and urban transport options beyond cars. “The idea that we are going to create a middle class in BRIC economies doesn’t make sense. Not everyone wants or should have 2.2 cars.” In the future, Berdish imagines a world where cars are more of a shared resource and more functional. “Cars will have to be more stripped down. In a sharing economy or mega-city, you don’t need satellite radio and fancy navigation systems; you just need cars to serve a function.” Berdish helped develop mobility solutions at Ford, which meant showing the company the value of business models built around car sharing and mass urban transport options like rail, metro, buses, and bicycles. He encountered a lot of frustration, as the focus of the company was still on cars and trucks, but his vice president at the time offered support.


pages: 215 words: 59,188

Seriously Curious: The Facts and Figures That Turn Our World Upside Down by Tom Standage

agricultural Revolution, augmented reality, autonomous vehicles, blood diamonds, corporate governance, Deng Xiaoping, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, failed state, financial independence, gender pay gap, gig economy, Gini coefficient, high net worth, income inequality, index fund, industrial robot, Internet of things, invisible hand, job-hopping, Julian Assange, life extension, Lyft, M-Pesa, Mahatma Gandhi, manufacturing employment, mega-rich, megacity, Minecraft, mobile money, natural language processing, Nelson Mandela, plutocrats, Plutocrats, price mechanism, purchasing power parity, ransomware, reshoring, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Coase, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Snapchat, South China Sea, speech recognition, stem cell, supply-chain management, transaction costs, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, undersea cable, US Airways Flight 1549, WikiLeaks

Sand also has industrial uses: it is used to make glass, electronics, and to help extract oil in the fracking industry. Vast quantities of sand are dumped into the sea to reclaim land. Singapore, for example, has expanded its land area by more than 20% since the 1960s in this way. The Maldives and Kiribati have used sand to shore up their islands against rising sea levels. The UN forecasts that, by 2030, there will be over 40 “megacities” home to more than 10m inhabitants (up from 31 in 2016), which means more housing and infrastructure will need to be built. And sea levels will continue to rise. All of this means that sand will only become more sought after. So why is there a shortage, when sand seems so abundant? The trouble is that desert sand is too smooth, and cannot be used for most commercial purposes. Australian sand was transported to a faraway desert to build Dubai’s Burj Khalifa tower.


pages: 190 words: 62,941

Wild Ride: Inside Uber's Quest for World Domination by Adam Lashinsky

"side hustle", Airbnb, always be closing, Amazon Web Services, autonomous vehicles, Ayatollah Khomeini, business process, Chuck Templeton: OpenTable:, cognitive dissonance, corporate governance, DARPA: Urban Challenge, Donald Trump, Elon Musk, gig economy, Golden Gate Park, Google X / Alphabet X, information retrieval, Jeff Bezos, Lyft, Marc Andreessen, Mark Zuckerberg, megacity, Menlo Park, new economy, pattern recognition, price mechanism, ride hailing / ride sharing, Sand Hill Road, self-driving car, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Skype, Snapchat, South of Market, San Francisco, sovereign wealth fund, statistical model, Steve Jobs, TaskRabbit, Tony Hsieh, transportation-network company, Travis Kalanick, turn-by-turn navigation, Uber and Lyft, Uber for X, uber lyft, ubercab, young professional

As CEO of Uber, the world’s most valuable start-up, Kalanick has been visiting China about every three months for three years now. All the travel from his home base in San Francisco is part of a money-draining and quixotic gambit to replicate the global success of Uber’s disruptive ride-hailing service in the world’s most populous country. Kalanick has spent the previous three days in Tianjin, a megacity on the Yellow Sea, two hours southeast of Beijing. There he was a cochair of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) New Champions meeting, the so-called summer Davos. Weeks shy of his fortieth birthday, Kalanick was the toast of Tianjin, where he enjoyed the considerable fringe benefits of his newfound worldwide prominence. The California start-up he runs has been around a mere six years, yet at the off-season international gabfest he scored an audience with the second most powerful government official in China, Premier Li Keqiang.


pages: 566 words: 163,322

The Rise and Fall of Nations: Forces of Change in the Post-Crisis World by Ruchir Sharma

Asian financial crisis, backtesting, bank run, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, Bernie Sanders, BRICs, business climate, business cycle, business process, call centre, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, central bank independence, centre right, colonial rule, Commodity Super-Cycle, corporate governance, creative destruction, crony capitalism, currency peg, dark matter, debt deflation, deglobalization, deindustrialization, demographic dividend, demographic transition, Deng Xiaoping, Doha Development Round, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Elon Musk, eurozone crisis, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, falling living standards, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Freestyle chess, Gini coefficient, hiring and firing, income inequality, indoor plumbing, industrial robot, inflation targeting, Internet of things, Jeff Bezos, job automation, John Markoff, Joseph Schumpeter, Kenneth Rogoff, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, labor-force participation, lateral thinking, liberal capitalism, Malacca Straits, Mark Zuckerberg, market bubble, mass immigration, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, mittelstand, moral hazard, New Economic Geography, North Sea oil, oil rush, oil shale / tar sands, oil shock, pattern recognition, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, pets.com, plutocrats, Plutocrats, Ponzi scheme, price stability, Productivity paradox, purchasing power parity, quantitative easing, Ralph Waldo Emerson, random walk, rent-seeking, reserve currency, Ronald Coase, Ronald Reagan, savings glut, secular stagnation, Shenzhen was a fishing village, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, Simon Kuznets, smart cities, Snapchat, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spectrum auction, Steve Jobs, The Future of Employment, The Wisdom of Crowds, Thomas Malthus, total factor productivity, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, unorthodox policies, Washington Consensus, WikiLeaks, women in the workforce, working-age population

Though the once all-powerful government in Delhi has in recent decades ceded significant spending authority to chief ministers in India’s twenty-nine states, that power has not filtered down to the mayoral level, and it shows. Smaller cities struggle to grow, and when rural Indians do move to urban areas, they tend to choose the four megacities, with populations of over ten million: Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Bangalore. If China is a nation of boom cities, India is a land of creaking megacities, surrounded by small towns and not enough vibrant second cities. The Service Cities The rise of cities along trade routes that carry hard goods is today accompanied by the rise of cities at the center of various service industries. When the Internet first started to revolutionize communications in the 1990s, experts thought it would allow people to do most service jobs just about anywhere, dispersing these businesses to all corners of every country and making location irrelevant.


pages: 224 words: 69,494

Mobility: A New Urban Design and Transport Planning Philosophy for a Sustainable Future by John Whitelegg

active transport: walking or cycling, Berlin Wall, British Empire, car-free, conceptual framework, congestion charging, corporate social responsibility, decarbonisation, energy transition, eurozone crisis, glass ceiling, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, New Urbanism, peak oil, post-industrial society, price mechanism, Right to Buy, smart cities, telepresence, the built environment, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, The Spirit Level, transit-oriented development, urban planning, urban sprawl

China and India have demonstrated that they can mobilise funds and political initiative for sustainable transport projects and projects that genuinely improve conditions for those not owning or using cars. After describing 3 strategies in China for encouraging motorised transport Gao et al (2014) discuss measures that are intended to restrain car use: “More strictly, strategies restricting purchase and use of private vehicles are now emerging in the megacities of China. For instance, the Beijing municipal government initiated the rationing of road space for the 2008 Olympics. Car use was curtailed according to the number on the license plates. Another example is limiting quota of new car registration in an attempt to curb unsustainable levels of automobile ownership (Song, 2013). This has since been further tightened by 37.5% to 150,000 per year in 2017.


Economic Gangsters: Corruption, Violence, and the Poverty of Nations by Raymond Fisman, Edward Miguel

accounting loophole / creative accounting, Andrei Shleifer, Asian financial crisis, barriers to entry, blood diamonds, clean water, colonial rule, congestion charging, crossover SUV, Donald Davies, European colonialism, failed state, feminist movement, George Akerlof, income inequality, income per capita, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), invisible hand, mass immigration, megacity, oil rush, prediction markets, random walk, Scramble for Africa, selection bias, Silicon Valley, South China Sea, unemployed young men

The existence of the new lake is still a matter of intense speculation, and many experts remain unconvinced by the geological science underlying el-Baz’s claims.23 While only time will tell whether water for Darfur’s desperate millions will help end the conflict there, we shouldn’t underestimate the power of water in dousing violence in Africa. 135 Chapter Six ½ Death by a Thousand Small Cuts M A Gruesome Calculus urders, kidnappings, and car-jackings are part of daily life in the sprawling megacities of the developing world, causing the rich and privileged to retreat to lives behind high, barbed wire-topped walls. Kenya’s capital got the nickname “Nairobbery” for a reason. While civil war is violence played out on a grand and tragic scale, countries spared large-scale conflict can still suffer death by a thousand small cuts in the form of violent crime. Some of these personal tragedies have obvious economic underpinnings—the hungry and destitute naturally covet their neighbors’ possessions.


pages: 212 words: 69,846

The Nation City: Why Mayors Are Now Running the World by Rahm Emanuel

Affordable Care Act / Obamacare, Airbnb, blockchain, carbon footprint, clean water, deindustrialization, Donald Trump, Edward Glaeser, Enrique Peñalosa, Filter Bubble, income inequality, informal economy, Jane Jacobs, Kickstarter, Lyft, megacity, new economy, New Urbanism, offshore financial centre, payday loans, ride hailing / ride sharing, Ronald Reagan, Silicon Valley, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, the High Line, transcontinental railway, Uber and Lyft, uber lyft, urban planning, War on Poverty, white flight, working poor

Gatwick already has the land available, and the airport has kept it open in case Khan—and common sense—prevail. To Khan, tackling climate change is also a commonsense issue. Under him, London has taken some aggressive steps. Though Great Britain has stayed in the Paris Agreement (unlike the United States), Khan believes his country’s efforts and plans on climate change still fall short. So London will lead the way. It is the first megacity in the world to make the pledge to become carbon-neutral by 2050, and it’s already taken some significant steps toward reaching that goal. (Khan is also divesting the city’s pension funds of fossil fuel investments.) While London was once a laggard when it came to solar power, the city now outperforms the country in terms of new solar panel deployment. Low-emission transportation and improved energy efficiency guidelines for homes and businesses in London are also more ambitious than those of the national government.


pages: 235 words: 62,862

Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders, and a 15-Hour Workweek by Rutger Bregman

autonomous vehicles, banking crisis, Bartolomé de las Casas, basic income, Berlin Wall, Bertrand Russell: In Praise of Idleness, Branko Milanovic, cognitive dissonance, computer age, conceptual framework, credit crunch, David Graeber, Diane Coyle, Erik Brynjolfsson, everywhere but in the productivity statistics, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, Frank Levy and Richard Murnane: The New Division of Labor, full employment, George Gilder, George Santayana, happiness index / gross national happiness, Henry Ford's grandson gave labor union leader Walter Reuther a tour of the company’s new, automated factory…, income inequality, invention of gunpowder, James Watt: steam engine, John Markoff, John Maynard Keynes: Economic Possibilities for our Grandchildren, John Maynard Keynes: technological unemployment, Kevin Kelly, Kickstarter, knowledge economy, knowledge worker, Kodak vs Instagram, low skilled workers, means of production, megacity, meta analysis, meta-analysis, microcredit, minimum wage unemployment, Mont Pelerin Society, Nathan Meyer Rothschild: antibiotics, Occupy movement, offshore financial centre, Paul Samuelson, Peter Thiel, post-industrial society, precariat, RAND corporation, randomized controlled trial, Ray Kurzweil, Ronald Reagan, Second Machine Age, Silicon Valley, Simon Kuznets, Skype, stem cell, Steven Pinker, telemarketer, The Future of Employment, The Spirit Level, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, Thomas Malthus, Thorstein Veblen, Tyler Cowen: Great Stagnation, universal basic income, wage slave, War on Poverty, We wanted flying cars, instead we got 140 characters, wikimedia commons, women in the workforce, working poor, World Values Survey

And, while we’re at it, let’s also get rid of the fallacy that a higher salary is automatically a reflection of societal value. Then we might realize that in terms of value creation, it just doesn’t pay to be a banker. New York City, 50 Years Later Half a century after the strike, the Big Apple seems to have learned its lesson. “Everyone in NYC wants to be garbage collector,” read a recent newspaper headline. These days, the people who pick up after the megacity earn an enviable salary. After five years on the payroll, they can take home as much as $70,000 plus overtime and perks. “They keep the city running,” a Sanitation Department spokesperson explained in the article. “If they were to stop working, however briefly, all of New York City would come to a standstill.”20 The paper also interviewed a city sanitation worker. In 2006, Joseph Lerman, then 20, got a call from the city informing him he could report for duty as a collector.


pages: 247 words: 68,918

The End of the Free Market: Who Wins the War Between States and Corporations? by Ian Bremmer

affirmative action, Asian financial crisis, banking crisis, Berlin Wall, BRICs, British Empire, centre right, collective bargaining, corporate governance, creative destruction, credit crunch, Credit Default Swap, cuban missile crisis, Deng Xiaoping, diversified portfolio, Doha Development Round, Exxon Valdez, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, global reserve currency, global supply chain, invisible hand, joint-stock company, Joseph Schumpeter, Kickstarter, laissez-faire capitalism, low skilled workers, mass immigration, means of production, megacity, Mikhail Gorbachev, mutually assured destruction, Naomi Klein, Nelson Mandela, new economy, offshore financial centre, open economy, race to the bottom, reserve currency, risk tolerance, shareholder value, South Sea Bubble, sovereign wealth fund, special economic zone, spice trade, The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith, too big to fail, trade liberalization, trade route, tulip mania, uranium enrichment, Washington Consensus, Yom Kippur War, zero-sum game

Saudi Arabia As you enter King Abdullah Economic City, a multibillion-dollar building project due for completion in 2020, you pass through an enormous gate ornamented with the king’s image and the words, “The vision of our leader has embodied our dreams.”1 According to the city’s official Web site, its purpose is “To become the single greatest enabler of social and economical growth for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.”2 Two million Saudis are expected to live, learn, and work within this desert fortress of state-of-the-art skyscrapers, schools, and shopping malls that will one day cover 150 square miles. This is just one of six megacities the Saudi government intends to invent over the next decade, projects imagined by state contractors and built largely by the Saudi construction and service companies that win lucrative government contracts. In Saudi Arabia, grand-scale state capitalism is a natural fit. Most authoritarian governments now recognize that change is inevitable. The more a regime fears for its long-term survival, the more likely it will try to micromanage the processes of adaptation and reform.


pages: 274 words: 75,846

The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding From You by Eli Pariser

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, A Pattern Language, Amazon Web Services, augmented reality, back-to-the-land, Black Swan, borderless world, Build a better mousetrap, Cass Sunstein, citizen journalism, cloud computing, cognitive dissonance, crowdsourcing, Danny Hillis, data acquisition, disintermediation, don't be evil, Filter Bubble, Flash crash, fundamental attribution error, global village, Haight Ashbury, Internet of things, Isaac Newton, Jaron Lanier, Jeff Bezos, jimmy wales, Kevin Kelly, knowledge worker, Mark Zuckerberg, Marshall McLuhan, megacity, Metcalfe’s law, Netflix Prize, new economy, PageRank, paypal mafia, Peter Thiel, recommendation engine, RFID, Robert Metcalfe, sentiment analysis, shareholder value, Silicon Valley, Silicon Valley startup, social graph, social software, social web, speech recognition, Startup school, statistical model, stem cell, Steve Jobs, Steven Levy, Stewart Brand, technoutopianism, the scientific method, urban planning, Whole Earth Catalog, WikiLeaks, Y Combinator

The creators of the Internet envisioned something bigger and more important than a global system for sharing pictures of pets. The manifesto that helped launch the Electronic Frontier Foundation in the early nineties championed a “civilization of Mind in cyberspace”—a kind of worldwide metabrain. But personalized filters sever the synapses in that brain. Without knowing it, we may be giving ourselves a kind of global lobotomy instead. From megacities to nanotech, we’re creating a global society whose complexity has passed the limits of individual comprehension. The problems we’ll face in the next twenty years—energy shortages, terrorism, climate change, and disease—are enormous in scope. They’re problems that we can only solve together. Early Internet enthusiasts like Web creator Tim Berners-Lee hoped it would be a new platform for tackling those problems.


pages: 256 words: 76,433

Overdressed: The Shockingly High Cost of Cheap Fashion by Elizabeth L. Cline

big-box store, business cycle, clean water, East Village, feminist movement, income inequality, informal economy, invention of the sewing machine, Maui Hawaii, McMansion, megacity, race to the bottom, Skype, special economic zone, trade liberalization, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory, upwardly mobile, Veblen good

I looked it up on the Internet and a wave of panic rippled through me. Panyu is a city in Guangdong Province. In fact, Panyu is a city of more than 1 million people located within the boundaries of Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong Province, and the location of several of the factory meetings I had set up. I was finally connecting China’s very large dots. The three cities I was planning to zip back and forth between by cab form a single megacity bigger than any metropolis in the United States. Shenzhen has a population of around 14 million people. Dongguan, located between Shenzhen and Guangzhou, has more than 8 million, and Guangzhou has roughly 13 million. All told, Guangdong Province has at least 100 million inhabitants, almost a third of the United States’ population crammed into a space the size of Missouri. I went into recon mode and made sure I wasn’t spending a single unguided moment in southern China.


pages: 318 words: 77,223

The Only Game in Town: Central Banks, Instability, and Avoiding the Next Collapse by Mohamed A. El-Erian

activist fund / activist shareholder / activist investor, Airbnb, balance sheet recession, bank run, barriers to entry, break the buck, Bretton Woods, British Empire, business cycle, capital controls, Capital in the Twenty-First Century by Thomas Piketty, Carmen Reinhart, carried interest, collapse of Lehman Brothers, corporate governance, currency peg, disruptive innovation, Erik Brynjolfsson, eurozone crisis, financial innovation, Financial Instability Hypothesis, financial intermediation, financial repression, fixed income, Flash crash, forward guidance, friendly fire, full employment, future of work, Hyman Minsky, If something cannot go on forever, it will stop - Herbert Stein's Law, income inequality, inflation targeting, Jeff Bezos, Kenneth Rogoff, Khan Academy, liquidity trap, Martin Wolf, megacity, Mexican peso crisis / tequila crisis, moral hazard, mortgage debt, Norman Mailer, oil shale / tar sands, price stability, principal–agent problem, quantitative easing, risk tolerance, risk-adjusted returns, risk/return, Second Machine Age, secular stagnation, sharing economy, sovereign wealth fund, The Great Moderation, The Wisdom of Crowds, too big to fail, University of East Anglia, yield curve, zero-sum game

Finally—and as if I needed to convince you further of the challenges—politics around the world also needs to play catch-up with a number of consequential secular and structural transformations in society; these meaningful challenges face governments that find it inherently hard to disrupt themselves for the better (it is difficult enough for business and individuals to do so; for governments it is infinitely more so). These include wide-scale urbanization and the emergence of megacities, which render even more important the effective devolution of some power to cities and municipalities. Meanwhile, and perhaps more important, rapid technological innovations have enabled and empowered individuals like never before (something that we will return to later in the book). Today, so many more people in so many more places are enabled to connect and participate, and, soon, they will also be able to make a lot more things.


pages: 276 words: 78,061

Worth Dying For: The Power and Politics of Flags by Tim Marshall

anti-communist, Ayatollah Khomeini, Berlin Wall, British Empire, colonial rule, Donald Trump, drone strike, European colonialism, failed state, Fall of the Berlin Wall, Francis Fukuyama: the end of history, full employment, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Mahatma Gandhi, Malacca Straits, mass immigration, megacity, Nelson Mandela, Ronald Reagan, sceptred isle, Scramble for Africa, South China Sea, sovereign wealth fund, trade route, white picket fence

The young women chosen to cheer on their athletes share two attributes: not only are they all drop-dead gorgeous but, we are told, they are all fanatically devoted to the regime of Kim Jong-un. When the South complained about the size of the flags the cheerleaders were going to bring, diplomats from the North stormed out of a meeting and cancelled the Beauties. The two Koreas remain as far apart and as close together as they always have been. War is a constant potential threat; everyone in the South’s megacity of Seoul knows they are within range of the North’s artillery, dug in along the 38th parallel, and the North’s nuclear programme frightens the entire region. Family quarrels can often be the most bitter, although in the case of both Koreas’ relationship with Japan and its flag, it’s sometimes hard to tell which goes deeper. Japan raised its Imperial flag over Korea for thirty-five years in the twentieth century.


pages: 300 words: 76,638