The Disproportionate Influence of Cities in Countries Around World

At a recent conference on world cities, attendees from all over the world shared the impression that their cities do not receive enough respect from their national governments.

Grist's David Roberts was there and reflects on the perception of cities having a disproportionate amount of influence.

"As I talked with folks from cities around the world, again and again I heard frustration over the relationship between metropolitan areas and state or national governments. Just about everyone I talked to felt that their city did not receive the support it deserved based on the contributions it made. In most every country, cities contain most of the people and produce most of the economic activity, but state and national resources tend, for political reasons, to be spread evenly rather than concentrated on metros. Rural areas have disproportionate influence over state and national officials, so they end up getting more than they give, effectively siphoning resources out of metro areas.

This came up, unbidden, as I chatted with a couple of gentlemen from Karachi, Pakistan, during a visit to the soccer museum. It came up as I talked with a woman from Buenos Aires, Argentina, on the bus to the symphony. It came up with a guy from Houston, Texas, outside a cocktail party. And I heard it from more than one Sao Paulo native."

Full Story: Why do cities get so little respect from state and national governments?

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