• Migration Can Shape Local Development Policies in Unexpected Ways
    on April 11, 2019

    When Brazil’s government decided in 1967 to create a free trade zone in Manaus, it had glittering visions of Amazonian development. Located at the meeting point of two tributaries of the Amazon river, the so-called “City of the Forest” had fallen on hard times since the end of the rubber boom […]

  • Who Benefits from Job Creation in Cities?
    on February 12, 2019

    When it comes to urban economic development, everything is a question of tradeoffs. There are, as economists like to say, “no free lunches.” Consider California. The astronomical wages paid by firms like Google, Apple and other digital firms draw thousands of people to the Silicon Valley/San […]

Why the Developing World Should Look Beyond the US Experience as a Model to Manage Rapid Urbanization

(from the LSE American Politics and Policy Blog, June 13, 2018)

By the year 2100, the planet will have, according to forecasts, twice as many people living in cities as it does today. The lion’s share of this transformation will take place in the developing world, where the urban population could go from 2.6 billion to close to 8 billion in less than a century. What will this new chapter in the history of urbanization look like? Will it be a “re-make” of what we saw in the 20th century in now-rich countries? Will it come accompanied by stark improvements in living conditions as it did before? How will this depend on the actions of local and national policymakers over the next couple of decades?…