chapter  1
17 Pages

Scaling the Urban Environmental Challenge

ByPeter J. Marcotullio, Gordon McGranahan

Urbanization and economic growth are the two quantifiable trends of recent world history most closely associated with conventional ‘development’. Like development itself, they represent disputed concepts. The use of ‘rural’ and ‘urban’ to describe different forms of human settlement is now being called into question by new indicators and settlement patterns (Champion and Hugo, 2004). Both the measures and meanings of economic growth are also being increasingly challenged. Yet, poorly understood and quantified though they may be, urbanization and economic growth relate to phenomena that are undoubtedly changing humanity and the world we live in – and not just its urban or affluent parts. Moreover, both trends are intimately linked to radical changes in governance. Shifts in governance are even less amenable to quantification, but equally central to the challenges we now face.