chapter  2
Sustaining Urban Development in Latin America in an Unpredictable World
ByWorld Alan Gilbert
Pages 10

Twenty years after the depths of the ‘lost decade’, all is not well in Latin America’s cities. If Munck’s (2003: 168) comment that ‘industries close down and the great cities sink under the weight of pollution and over-crowding’ is too pessimistic, the New Economic Model (NEM) is clearly not producing the goods (Bulmer-Thomas 1997; ILO 1995; World Bank 2002). National economic growth rates are low, urban poverty is increasing, inequality in an already unequal region is growing and the modern ‘urban’ diseases of crime, pollution and congestion appear to be worsening. Competitiveness is the ubiquitous policy watchword, but only a minority of urban economies show signs of winning a space in the world’s marketplace.