Comments on: As world population hits 7 billion, megacities pose growing risks Wed, 16 Nov 2016 01:37:11 +0000 hourly 1 By: AltonBob Fri, 11 Nov 2011 05:27:36 +0000 The modern city isn’t a consistent object: many cities these days are seeing employment – particularly privately-owned operations – migrating from the core to the outskirts, while households are flocking to developments within the core zone. The drivers are usually issues like congestion, pollution and taxation. However, this shift in activity is messing up some of the base assumptions that led to the existing configuration of services. Commute directions need to accomodate increased reverse flow; food, water and energy distributions are altered.
Preparations for the unexpected, if they fail to take these ongoing changes into account, can become ineffective or counterproductive. Will the demographic shifts continue? A lot depends on the administrative policies that have influenced the current patterns. Will the new emphasis on reducing debt and public spending have an effect? That’s really quite difficult to say with any certainty. Stay tuned!

By: Nullcorp Wed, 09 Nov 2011 22:28:24 +0000 Interesting piece. It contradicts the argument that centralized, urbanized populations are inherently better for the environment.

It seems to me that there is an ideal size for a city, and that beyond that point, it becomes unmanageable. I believe that Christopher Alexander (author of “A Pattern Language”) suggested a size of around 10,000. Margolin and Buchanan (authors of “The Idea of Design”) made a higher estimate of around 50,000 – still considered a “small town” by some people.

I’d be interested in hearing the author’s thoughts on this. As mentioned here, for all but the past two decades, most people lived a rural existence. People were drawn to the city by industrialization and the promise of jobs, but the industrialized and centralized city has become something that many people wish to escape from.