chapter  21
15 Pages

Taming the Cities

JUST AS historical misunderstandings over the role of agriculture and traditional land tenures have, to a degree, distorted the patterns of latterday development, so do we come upon comparable paradoxes in the burgeoning industrial-urban sector. On the one hand, one can argue that developing societies today have the immense advantage of not having to go through the whole process of inventing the methods of industrialization. Even at the peak of nineteenth-century industrial expansion, in Britain, in imperial Germany, in the United States, the over-all growth of the economy (the sum of goods and services, or GNP) did not average much more than 3.5 percent per year. But in the sixties and early seventies of this century, the economies of the fifty-eight middleincome countries grew on average by an annual 6 percent, with their industrial sectors growing on average by 8 percent per year. No such speed of expansion-with all the increasing experience and diversification it represents-would have been conceivable if the established manufacturers of the developed world had not made available for sale every need, from complete plants down to the smallest spare parts.