How to Manage the Sprawl in Growing Megacities
Faced with the prospect of a larger and larger share of humanity moving to developed areas of the world, Peter Coy writes an article suggesting that "sprawl can be beautiful," if growth is managed well.
Coy's concern is with the growth of sprawling megacities, like Dhaka, Lagos, Manila, and Rio de Janeiro, countering those in rich western cities who romanticize "the ingenuity and perseverance of slum dwellers."
Coy is following the lead of a 2011 article from the McKinsey Global Institute titled "What’s the biggest limit on city growth? (Hint: it’s not steel or cement).” The answer to the trivia question, Coy explains, is management. New York, Paris, and Tokyo were all ungovernable at points in their development, says Coy, and developing megacities don't currently have the same advantages that now established cities had at similar points in their development.
As examples of better management and planning in developing cities, Coy points to Curitiba, with the leadership of Jaime Lerner, and Valledupar, in Colombia. The latter provides a repeated touch point throughout the article.