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Wednesday, May 03, 2006

 

AntiSprawl

Urban Population growth in lesser developed or third world countries are booming. Cities, like Argentina’s capital city Buenos Aires, are massive cities with well developed cities for there area/country/region and packed full with large numbers of employers. But these cities have a problem. While here in America we are suffering through, and trying to manage or slow down, the new problem known as Sprawl, these cities are suffering from reverse-sprawl or ‘anti-sprawl if you will. What is causing this and what can be done about it?

These cities are suffering; they are suffering because of the massive inflow of people trying to move into the city. These emigrants are trying to find a better life within the urban areas. That better life can only be found in the urban areas of these lesser developed countries, through the employment opportunities that the cities have to offer. Unfortunately, there are way to many people moving into the city, and not enough economic growth within the city to support the massive amounts of new workers that arrive in the city every day. Some find employment, but most do not. Where do those who cannot find work and their families go? They go to the last place they can, to the outskirts of the city. There you will find them by the thousands. With most of the time the entire city will be surrounded by literal walls of poverty. These walls were created in the form of shanty-towns. A shanty-town is an area where large numbers of people live (or squat) in large undeveloped areas of makeshift housing and severe poverty. These areas have little to no electricity, no sewage or running water. Yet, more and more people are moving into them. Why does this occur, one might ask. To me the answer is relatively simple.

People flood into cities because they have found the opportunity costs of not moving into the city and finding employment with its possible higher wage outweighs the chance of not being able to find employment in the city. Unfortunately for the people who were already in the city are competing with these migrant workers which drives the wage down and the requirements for employment up. Way up. This makes it harder for new migrants to find work, and for those who are employed to maintain a job at their agreed upon wage. This does not do anything to help the local economy of the city. In fact it hurts the economy in too many ways to list

What is keeping the economies of these cities and countries with massive <25%>US did during the depression with the New Deal? No, they couldn’t afford to do that either. So, that throws the idea of taking them in right out the window too.

So that leaves the only one other solution to the problem, in my very and probably over simplified example. That solution is to wait and do nothing and the problem will self adjust and dissipate. Because in the long run the impoverished living in these shanty-towns will eventually do one of two things. One, leave on there own accord or two, die; but whether they leave or if they die, it still solves the problem of the severe-unemployment caused by anti-sprawl. So in the long run that is the solution. To let the poor die off, survival of the fittest I guess. But hey, at least they are not suffering from sprawl?


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