chapter  7
30 Pages

Shaping city futures: urban planning, governance and politics

In the face of rising urban poverty, insecurity and environmental change, what can or should be done to ensure a more equitable, inclusive and sustainable future for the world’s population? There is no simple answer to this question. Every city, nation and region faces its own unique challenges, even if they share common problems such as rapid urban growth, increasing informality or climate change. Prescriptions are neither obvious nor desirable. However, in approaching this question, certain critical themes provide a useful starting point for context-specific analysis. In this concluding chapter we focus on the ways in which urban planning, governance and politics relate to the challenges and opportunities associated with urbanisation. Although we have touched on these issues throughout the book, we now bring them to the fore in order to highlight their paramount importance in understanding and effecting processes of urban change.