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lewism "lewism" (Helsinki, Finland)

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Planet of Slums
Planet of Slums
by Mike Davis
Edition: Hardcover

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars slum mega cities, 11 Jun. 2007
This review is from: Planet of Slums (Hardcover)
The scale and velocity of world population increase over the last fifty years has been unprecedented in human history. Urbanisation, with over a billion people living in cities has become the key signature of this growth, with the urban population for the first time greater than in the country. These facts are startling, if common knowledge, however they are not much examined in the mainstream. Mike Davis's book looks at this global phenomenon in detail, and shows clearly how the city has been turned into slums, and how poverty has been urbanised.

Slum mega cities have strange geographies, and densities that defy analysis and seeming logic. Here Peri urbanism where city and country are virtually indivisible is covered as is the continual subdivision of wealth and free space by mega slums that turn earthquake prone mountainsides into dense housing. These city slums are where the worlds problems will start, and where they must be solved.

But if you are looking for light reading this is not it, and although global capitalism is firmly blamed for this there are no fixes suggested in this book either. This story though is worth telling and the book is a powerfully argued proof that much of the world is suffering under impossible odds.

by John Reader
Edition: Paperback
Price: £12.99

5 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An Essential City Reader, 7 Feb. 2006
This review is from: Cities (Paperback)
John Reader takes us on a historical trip through the city starting in Mesopotamia 6,000 years ago and finishing at the present day taking a quick view at the usual suspects, London, Rome, Venice, New York and a few others. I agree with the author that this book is needed as the city is 'the defining artifact of civilisation', and by 2030 two thirds of us will be living in one. So the concept of the book is clear, better understand the city, how it works and how they differ and you will better understand civilisations and the forces at work in cities that even shape the outcome of wars and empires themselves. In answering the problems of the city we may be able to solve some of the environmental issues that face humanity now. Its optimistic and upbeat and demonstrates a love for the city,command of the subject and is full of interesting facts. Its pulled together very well too, and is eminently readable which is no small advantage. While perhaps the conclusion could draw from the whole book more clearly it is an excellent book and should be on every ones 'city reader' list.

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