Urbanization News May 6

This week’s feature, A New Class of Consumers Grows in Africa: Market on Par With China’s and India’s, does not directly address urbanization but one can not help but wonder how this new class of Africans will shape Africa’s cities in the near future. Will Africans begin to rapidly consume more formal urban housing?  Hopefully the next version of this map of slums in African cities from UNEP will show significantly less read as this middle class emerges. Read an excerpt from this story below:

“Sustained economic growth in Africa has produced for the first time a broad middle class, one that cuts across the continent and is on par with the size of the middle classes in the billion-person emerging markets of China and India. The rise of a middle class in the world’s poorest continent is a dramatic marker for the global economy. At a time when the U.S., Europe and Japan are struggling to grow, Africa is beginning to beckon as a consumer of what other nations produce, thanks in part to a young population more upwardly mobile than ever before.” Read more from the Wall Street Journal.

As infrastructure preparations lag, Brazil may deliver a Fifa World Cup to forget  Megaevents, such as the Olympics in Beijing, World Expo in Shanghai and the last World Cup in South Africa have been known to dramatically shape the structure of cities as they upgrade for these event.  Brazil however does not appear to be moving towards this goal as rapidly as it should.  Read more here: 

“I must say that in comparison with the state of play between South Africa and Brazil three years before the World Cup, Brazil is behind South Africa,” Sepp Blatter, the Fifa president, warned last month… It’s been more than three years since it was awarded the tournament, but no stadiums have yet been built.  Read more from the National.

Unfunded promises and common citizens: slum rehabilitation in Mumbai The story of Mumbai’s  Slum Rehabilitation Development Scheme has been slow to unfold over the past four years that I have been following it.  This week’s Global Urbanist presents an update on this scheme’s:

“Every election has given birth to different creative promises of slum rehabilitation in Mumbai. In recent times this started with the Prime Minister’s Grant Project in 1985, which granted a onetime contribution of ’1 billion rupees’ (22.5 million US dollars) to the Maharashtra state government to ‘improve housing conditions in Mumbai’. Yet this represented only 15% of the project cost–the rest was to be acquired through individual contributions from slum dwellers and through loans.”  Read more from the Global Urbanist.

Detroit demolish 3,000 blighted, dangerous houses in 1 year Most cities would certainly not be excited about massive demolitions, but Detroit’s mayor celebrated the 3,000th demolition this week.  Image how much green space the city will have when he reaches his goal of 10,000 demolished homes by December 2013.  

Detroit has reached Mayor Dave Bing’s goal of demolishing 3,000 blighted and dangerous houses in one year…. The goal was to have 3,000 leveled by the end of April. The city has thousands of vacant structures as it deals with the effects of a shrinking population.” Read more here.

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