“Urbanization is not a new phenomenon, but today it is taking a different form from in the past. From the 1940s to the 1970s, the move to the city was in search of jobs in the new industrial economies. From the start of decline in the 1980s and 1990s, the new migrants to cities were ore like economic refugees, fleeing the rural economic collapse triggered by structural adjustment and the strictures of prolonged drought in the Sahel. In the new century, economies have kickstarted again, and urbanization is taking a new pattern. According to the UN Habitat, most global urbanization in the 21st century will be not so much the transformation of cities into mega-cities, but the growth of previously small towns and villages into cities and towns. Many of these are currently de facto suburbs of large cities—meaning that here and in the new centers, a new space of life—the peri-urban environment—is becoming dominant."
Implications from IFTF:
New areas of intervention and leverage are popping up: peri-urban centers and new urban centers that have arisen from rural communities. If this trend is dealt with properly it could mean a new way to reach previously isolated communities with proper infrastructure and education opportunities, even increasing employment opportunities. If ignored however, these new urban centers can lead to increased strife and urban poverty which may have the long-term effect of increasing insecurity.
CDD June 2011 pg. 8