22 Aug '11, 11am

What Drives Cities' Runaway Growth?

Bobby Yip/Reuters High-rise residential buildings in the coastal Chinese city of Shenzhen. Worldwide, urbanization is most rapid in coastal regions. Urban areas are growing even faster than urban populations are, and by 2030 urbanized land around the globe will expand by 590,000 square miles — an amount almost equal to the land mass of Mongolia, according to a new study . The rapid urbanization occurring around the world, particularly in China and India, is the product not just of population growth or economic growth. Other factors, including land-use policies, government agricultural subsidies and the cost of transportation are also driving the trend, according to a new analysis of about 300 studies of cities around the world conducted from 1970 to 2000. And, in a finding unsurprising to anyone who knows the history of cities like Los Angeles, the authors write that “urba...

Full article: http://green.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/08/22/the-city-limits...

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