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Economy

Why So Many Emerging Megacities Remain So Poor

How globalization has changed the nature of urban development.
relates to Why So Many Emerging Megacities Remain So Poor
Reuters/Swoan Parker

The big story of global economic development over the past several decades has been the steady march of urbanization and the development of mega-cities around the world. As I noted earlier this week, the percentage of the world's population that lives in cities has grown from less than a third in the middle of the twentieth century to more than half today.

Economists and urbanists have generally considered increasing urbanization to be a good thing. The long history of global cities — from ancient Rome to London and New York today — is a story of increasing progress and prosperity.