Earth is Turning into a Giant Slum

March 21, 2006 | By | Reply More offers a review of Mike Davis’ distressing new book:  “Planet of Slums.”

According to Davis, most of Earth’s growth “is occurring in shantytowns and tenements stretching from Karachi, Pakistan, to Lima, Peru, where people live crowded together in densities that sometime dwarf those of such notorious 19th century human anthills . . .”

Planet of Slums is not an optimistic book:

the explosive growth of modern third-world cities stands the model of Europe’s Industrial Revolution on its head: It is not generally driven by economic growth. In East and parts of South Asia, the new jobs are there, but not in Latin America and certainly not in Africa, where countries have been losing industrial jobs since the 1980s even as their cities ballooned. Today’s migrants are not lured to the city by the promise of prosperity, but are driven from the countryside by ever direr poverty, population growth, environmental damage, war and the increasing global domination of high-tech agribusiness. “‘Overurbanization,’ in other words,” Davis writes, “is driven by the reproduction of poverty, not by the supply of jobs.”

See the review by Matt Steinglass.


Category: Environment

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

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