Thursday, 3 March 2016


Being used to urban sprawl and wide open spaces, it is interesting to see the reaction of some US citizens to the high density building that is going on in their cities. It`s a bit different in Europe and perhaps for that reason less obvious what the planners have in mind. But they do paint a grim picture.

"Europe is one of the most urbanised continents in the world. Today, more than two thirds of the European population lives in urban areas and this share continues to grow..."

"Europe is no longer in a situation of continuous economic growth and many cities, especially non-capital cities in Central and Eastern Europe, but also old industrial cities in Western Europe, face the serious threat of economic stagnation or decline."

"Our economies in their current form are unable to provide jobs for all weakening links between economic growth, employment and social progress have pushed a larger share of the population out of the labour market or towards low-skilled and low-wage service sector jobs."

"Growing income disparities and the poor getting poorer – in some neighbourhoods, local populations suffer from a concentration of inequalities in terms of poor housing, low-quality education, unemployment, and difficulties or inabilities to access certain services (health, transport, ICT)."

"Social polarisation and segregation are increasing – the recent economic crisis has further amplified the effects of market processes and the gradual retreat of the welfare state in most European countries. In even the richest of our cities, social and spatial segregation are growing problems."

"Urban sprawland the spread of low-density settlements is one of the main threats to sustainable territorial development; public services are more costly and difficult to provide, natural resources are overexploited, public transport networks are insufficient and car reliance and congestion in and around cities are heavy."

"Creating a resilient and inclusive economy the present economic development model, in which economic growth does not equate to more jobs, raises challenges: to ensure a decent life for those left outside the labour market and to engage them in society."

"A sustainable city must have attractive open public spaces and promote sustainable, inclusive and healthy mobility. Non-car mobility has to become more attractive and multimodal public transport systems favoured."

"New forms of governance are essential to respond to these urban challenges."

By new forms of governance they mean surveillance of the population which is easier in planned megacities. Otherwise, the word `ghetto` springs to mind for the economically underemployed.

No thought is given to the causes of economic collapse. It is as if all of that is inevitable - or for the planet.

This is the future that children are being prepared for in their schools.

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