'Slumifying' The Earth

An interview with Mike Davis, best-selling author of "City of Quartz" and his latest book, "Planet of Slums".
May 10, 2006, 2pm PDT | Abhijeet Chavan
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"He is the tour guide of your dreams, a walking encyclopedia of whatever is strange and riveting about Southern California. No object on the landscape seems to escape comment, brief description, or analysis...Mike Davis, whose first book about Los Angeles, City of Quartz, burst into bestsellerdom and put him on the map as this country's most innovative urban scholar, has since written about everything from the literary destruction of LA to Victorian holocausts of the 19th century and the potential avian flu pandemic of our own moment. He has most recently turned his restless, searching brain upon the global city in a new book, Planet of Slums, whose conclusions are so startling that I thought they should be the basis for our conversation."

"Classical urbanization via the Manchester/Chicago/Berlin/ Petersburg model is still occurring in China and a few other places...what were, historically, the great industrial cities of the south -- Johannesburg, Sao Paulo, Mumbai, Bello Horizonte, Buenos Aires -- have all suffered massive deindustrialization in the last twenty years, absolute declines in manufacturing employment of 20-40%...The entire future growth of humanity will occur in cities, overwhelmingly in poor cities, and the majority of it in slums."

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Published on Tuesday, May 9, 2006 in Mother Jones
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