chapter  2
24 Pages

Third World urbanisation and development: theoretical perspectives

A pivotal argument presented in this chapter is that in order to understand the process of urbanisation, it is necessary to ponder the process of development itself. In a sense this argument was exemplified in the account of global urbanisation which was presented in Chapter 1. In the present chapter, however, the principal aim is to outline the theoretical foundations and implications of this argument. For example, the significance of so-called 'top-down' planning and development can only be appreciated when it is recognised that the term refers to an ideology of change which is based on the belief that development best occurs at the top of the settlement hierarchy, and only then filters downwards. In contrast, the more recently emphasised, although considerably more diverse, philosophies of 'bottom-up' planning and development connote situations where it is argued that change should focus initially on the lower echelons of the settlement system, and only subsequently be transmitted up the settlement hierarchy. This vitally important, although quite straightforward, distinction exemplifies the theme of the present chapter, namely, that the processes of urbanisation and development go hand in hand and need to be considered together.