Cologne, 19th September 2003
Newsletter No. 2
1. New member
We welcome Dr. Irasema Alcantara-Ayala, Mexico as a new member to the Task Force Steering Committee (see also http://www.megacities.uni-koeln.de/taskforce/).
2. Special issue on Megacities: Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen 4-2003
The latest issue of Germany´s most traditional geographic journal "Petermanns Geographische Mitteilungen" (PGM) focuses on Megacities (www.pgm-online.de).
The contributions are:
In the last few decades a striking world-wide trend towards rising fatalities and economic losses due to natural and man-made hazards can be observed. One major influencing factor is growing urbanization, megacities being particularly prone to supply crises, social disorganisation, political conflicts and natural disasters. They can be both victims and producers of risks. This article concentrates on major risks and gives examples of a) environmental hazards (such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, storms, floods, droughts and heat waves, snowfall, frost and avalanches as well as global sea-level rise). Furthermore b) man-made hazards such as air, water and soil pollution, accidents, fires, industrial explosions, sinking land levels, diseases and epidemics, socioeconomic crises, civil riots and terror attacks, nuclear accidents as well as war, germ and nuclear warfare are addressed. Finally, the most remarkable deficits in research are summarized, as well as future tasks.
Keywords: Megacities, urbanization, hazard, risk, prevention, management, governability
In megacities, the emergence of new diseases and a double burden of diseases affect health, livelihood security of a tremendous number of vulnerable people. In line with environmental changes, behaviour adverse to health, violence and road accidents, some parts of urban agglomerations increasingly show symptoms of a new urban penalty.
Keywords: Health, environment, urbanization, water, air, slums
Many declarations of the International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction (1990-1999) emphasized the importance of citizen and community participation in disaster risk reduction. The benefits cited include effective risk communication, utilization of local knowledge, lowering the cost of mitigation measures, and building local capacity and resilience. However, the complexity of the social, economic, and political dynamics of cities produce situations in which it is very difficult to obtain such participation. In order to build partnerships with citizen groups and communities, planners and other professionals need to understand more about a number of social aspects of earthquake management. These aspects include risk perception, risk communication, disaster behavior, local social organization, the nature of nongovernmental organizations, social and economic aspects of recovery, social resilience, institutional learning, and local/vernacular knowledge. The difficulty of citizen and community participation is exemplified by case studies from Mexico City and Los Angeles.
Keywords: Social planning, activism, nongovernmental organization, social organization, vulnerability, local knowledge, trust, resilience
Recent Socio-Spatial and Structural Transformations in the Latin-American Metropolises and Mega-Cities
Since the 1990s there is a rapid transformation process going on within Latin-American metropolises and megacities, related to global restructuring and neoliberal economic policy, that has led to an increasing polarization of urban economics (formal-informal, rich-poor). One effect is an equally increasing socio-spatial fragmentation and segregation. A typical expression are the gated communities of upper-, middle- and partly under-classes within the urban and suburban regions and the class-related shopping-centres, which are becoming the nodal points of spatial action within the fragmented city.
Keywords: Latin America, globalization, urban/metropolitan transformation, polarization, fragmentation, segregation, succession, replacement, gated community, urban underclass
Paris - Current Trends of Development and Approaches to Urban Renewal in an European Mega-City
During the last decades, the agglomeration of Paris was subject to far-reaching changes. Demographic dynamics shifted from the inner city to the Grande Couronne, the outer areas of the agglomeration. Deindustrialization especially affected the northern and eastern parts of the metropolitan area, whereas it is the west which profited most from the increase of service industries, both trends deepening social fragmentation. Therefore, the current priorities of regional and urban politics are the renewal of the eastern parts of Paris, the fight against social exclusion and more efficient intercommunal cooperation.
Keywords: Paris, Île-de-France, France, regional development, urban development, regional planning, urban planning, urban renewal
Istanbul: Back to a World City-Status
For at least 2,000 years the city of what today is called Istanbul had been a "world city". It lost its status in 1918, but is currently regaining this position. This is supported by the new geopolitical situation since 1989 and by the locational advantages of a primate city. Due to international connections, informal segments of the world economy are as characteristic of Istanbul as is the presence of international holdings and specialized financial services. The metropolitan status is expressed in the new skyline, but the traditional city center, the "historical peninsula", also has undergone a transformation of its own. New investments in the urban fabric as well as the revitalization of the Golden Horn and the waters next to it have reversed urban blight. It has attained UNESCO world cultural heritage status, but is also the object of Turkish-Islamic identity.
Keywords: Istanbul, megacity, globalization, fragmentation, urban structure
Since the mid-1990s a new research emphasis has begun to be reflected in the literature on world-wide urbanisation processes, focussing on the increasing dynamism and growing problems of megacities. Solely a phenomenon of the industrialised countries until the Second World War, today the largest number of megacities are to be found in developing and newly industrialising countries, with an increasing response in research publications, although these have hitherto not been very numerous.
One early, but still very stimulating piece of research concentrating on the basics of the issue (FUCHS et al. 1994) with a comparative, interdisciplinary approach at a very high scientific level, concentrates in three sections on (a) the growth of megacities (whereby demographic aspects, mobility and the urban consequences of technical developments are addressed), (b) the socio-economic effects of megacity growth (including the effects of megacities on economic redistribution, taking into account social welfare and family/household structures) and (c) different management policies (focussing on management and innovation strategies, financial infrastructure, transport systems, fragmentation and environmental management).
Highly to be recommended is one of the few existing issue-oriented publications, concentrating on the increasing risks as well as increasing vulnerability and numbers of victims in the case of natural catastrophes, as well as disaster prevention planning in megacities (MITCHELL 1999). Actual experiences, strategic concepts, technical and administrative planning as well as social group-specific problems in the implementation of preventive measures in the context of earthquakes, flooding, hurricanes, fires and other environmental catastrophes, usually based on case studies (including Tokyo, Seoul, Dhaka, London, Mexico City, San Francisco and Los Angeles) are at the foreground of this work. The concluding chapter emphasises that while adequate knowledge is available of the causes of risks and catastrophes as well as of the contingency plans of most authorities and their ability to react, such knowledge is not available regarding the specific potential effects of catastrophes in individual urban districts or among particular vulnerable population groups. Furthermore, changing risk factors are discussed, which relate to future fields of action especially concerning man-made hazards and disasters.
Most publications on the topic are collections of essays, where an analysis of thematic aspects in world-wide or megaregional comparison is rare, but rather the emphasis is usually on portraying specific characteristics, developments and problems in individual megacities. This is understandable given the great complexity of the historic origins and current influences which determine the specific development of individual megacities, as well as the scale, dynamism and variety of inner-urban processes to be analysed. Nevertheless, research focussed on only one megacity blinkers perception of common problem issues, relevant differences and especially the discussion and exchange of proven approaches to the solution of problems, and measures for improvement.
Three collective publications can be recommended: (1) GORMSEN and THIMM (1994) contains good, systematic overviews with both historical accounts and current analyses, with numerous illuminating illustrations. The essays are concerned with Indian megacities as well as Shanghai, Mexico, Johannesburg und Cairo. (2) FELDBAUER et al. (1997) is more comprehensive and, as well as portraits of individual cities, this publication contains three general introductory contributions on (a) the different concepts of megacity, world city and global city, (b) the issue of the globalisation of the megacities and (c) five theories on the development of megacities: the essays on current problems in Bangalore, Bangkok, Jakarta, Lagos, Mexico, Mumbai, Nairobi, Sao Paulo, Shanghai and Teheran provide insights into the highly varied processes of globalisation and fragmentation as well as individual causes of the dominant problems of specific megacities, which place a serious question mark against the often unqueried transferability of best-practice solution strategies. This volume also makes very clear the individual interconnection of megaurban political and economic developments with the respective national trends. (3) AGUILAR and ESCAMILLA (1999) present an even more comprehensive compendium with an ambitious title and subtitle, dealing with six groups of issues: the significance of the (mega)cities in the world economy, urban government and management, sustainability and vulnerability, social polarisation and urban segregation, urban identity and cultural spaces as well as the restructuring of urban systems. Under these thematic brackets, however, are to be found unconnected studies on a large number of cities (but not exclusively megacities, a number of small cities are included), which mostly deal with different aspects of megacities, mainly in developing countries (e.g. land policy and landuse changes, the effects of foreign direct investment, the interconnections among Japanese banks in megacities, socio-spatial segregation, processes of migration, the reconstruction of identity, possible applications of remote sensing). In some cases, however, these essays only deal in the broadest sense with the problems suggested by the title and subtitle.
BECKEL'S (2001) impressive-looking megacity book with its large-format satellite imagery and numerous colour photos, aimed at the general reading public, follows brief general considerations with explanations of the most important characteristics and development of 42 large cities and megacities.
Three excellent regionally oriented publications concentrate on the situation in megacities in the agglomerations of the Asian-Pacific area, Southeast Asia and Africa: (1) In the volume edited by LO and MARCOTULLIO (2001) the focus is on the effects of booming economic growth in megacities in the Asian-Pacific area, including the changing significance of specific (mega)cities in the large-scale urban system, increasing effects of globalisation in the area of industrial production and international trade networks, transformation processes in Chinese megacities, the relationship between population growth and the labour market, the effects of boom and crisis on urban sustainability and plans for the extension of transport and energy infrastructure. The cities' respective individual potential for future economic development is convincingly worked out. (2) MCGEE and ROBINSON (1995) start with the debate in Southeast Asia over the last ten years as to the extent to which the currently growing mega-urban areas are a new phenomenon or merely a passing stage in the development towards a "Los-Angeles-type" worldwide urbanisation. The emergence of "extended metropolitan regions (EMR)" or "mega-urban regions", where urban and rural elements and structures are closely interconnected, is labelled with the Indonesian word "desakota" which expresses the unity of "village and town". In accordance with this the contributions deal with the causes of this development, changes in multiple interconnections and models for co-operation between the mega-urban areas in the ASEAN, before presenting case studies, including the three megacities Manila, Jakarta and Bangkok as well as the growth triangle Singapore-Johore-Riau, the region around Bandung and the Kuala Lumpur and Klang Valley area. (3) The situation in large cities and megacities in Africa is the subject of RAKODI'S (1997) book. Competently and systematically the editor introduces the causes of and changes in urbanisation in Africa before other the other contributing authors analyse the respective situations in Cairo, Johannesburg, Lagos, Kinshasa, Abidjan and Nairobi. Particular attention is paid to issues especially urgent for Africa, e.g. growth and economic crisis, growing informalisation, the development of housing markets, the significance of NGOs and the civil society, the adaptation of urban strategies with connections to rural areas. In the action-oriented chapters special attention is paid to town planning and management policy. The strengths of all three volumes lie in their multidisciplinarity, the analysis of a "middle level" which makes it possible to include the different conditions of urbanisation in individual large regions, so that it is possible to envisage socio-culturally adapted forms of direction and governability yet to be developed.
In most of the rapidly growing megacities, environmental problems are becoming ever more critical, so that (especially in the context of global environmental change) solutions including a broad range of actors must urgently be sought. In two ground-breaking studies SATTERTHWAITE (2001) and HARDOY, MITLIN and SATTERTHWAITE (2001) embrace the whole breadth of this problem, link it to the sustainability debate and discuss approaches to solutions. At the forefront are suitable indicators for measuring and determining urban sustainability, local and national planning paths for sustainable use as well as concepts for political implementation. Although both volumes refer to the environmental situation in urban areas in general, the extent of the problem in large cities and megacities is clearly emphasised. Both publications impress the reader with their systematically compact, neat analyses, enriched with many specific examples, as well as their clear orientation towards issues of applicability in practice. Where these two books succeed in a systematic-worldwide overview, another publication impresses with its study of one single megacity: ROSENZWEIG and SOLECKI (2001) provide a pioneering, detailed study of the possible consequences of global climatic change for the Greater New York area - e.g. the implications of the rise in sea-level for coastal morphology and marshy areas, the consequences for water and energy provision in the megacity, the necessities of future infrastructural provision or the needs of changed health care (e.g. in the case of climatic warming: increase in heat stress, waterborne diseases, ozone problems and changes in the quality of the air). Planning recommendations and (with reference to analyses aided by GIS) applications for education are also included.
HOHN'S (2000) postdoctoral thesis shows most impressively how individual towns' planning history, law and practice (and thus also specific social and cultural conditions) influence the current form and functionality of cities as well as their future development scenarios. Although this work is not solely directed at megacities, numerous examples, particularly from Tokyo and Osaka, emphasise the significance and effects of legislative and institutional planning constraints especially for the central problems of mega-urban regions. In the Japanese example this is manifest in the laws concerning urban renewal, rezoning, the improvement of housing and the general environment in residential areas as well as in urban conversion projects (e.g. in the case of railway stations, fallow areas, redevelopment, shopping streets) on the one hand and in the form of citizen participation in so-called "machizukuri"-planning, i.e. planning shaped with the involvement of the inhabitants at local level. This study makes clear what deep insights into the specific socio-cultural embeddedness of urban planning and design (and this must also be empirically supported by qualitative surveys) are necessary for an understanding of highly complex megacity structures, in order that realistic solutions be found and implemented. Looking especially to the megacities in key positions for national economies it is essential to remain proactively capable of intervention, for example with regard to disaster prevention planning or the functionality of inner cities, which is why particular significance must be attached to planning philosophies and priorities.
Given the extreme dynamism of growth and development in the megacities of the south, especially the accelerated, "catching-up" urbanisation in east, south and southeast Asia, the thematic priorities and regional emphasis of megacity research will shift in the future. It must be hoped that further textbooks and research reports come on the market, especially on the most urgent thematic complexes and comparative megacity research.
Martin Coy (Innsbruck University) and Frauke Kraas (Cologne University)
- Aguilar, A.G., I. Escamilla (eds.; 1999): Problems of Megacities: Social Inequalities, Environmental Risk and Urban Governance. Méxiko (DR), 668 S. (ISBN 968-36-7326-0)
- Beckel, L. (Hg.; 2001): Megacities. Salzburg (Geospace), 264 S. (ISBN 3-85313-061-5)
- Feldbauer, P. et al. (Hrsg.; 1997): Mega-Cities. Die Metropolen des Südens zwischen Globalisierung und Fragmentierung. Frankfurt (Brandes & Apsel/Südwind), 303 S. = Historische Sozialkunde 12 (ISBN 3-86099-172-8)
- Fuchs, R. et al. (eds.; 1994): Mega-city growth and the future. Tokyo (United Nations University Press), 428 S. (ISBN 92-808-0820-6)
- Gormsen, E., A. Thimm (Hrsg.; 1994): Megastädte in der Dritten Welt. Mainz (Selbstverlag), 191 S. = Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz, Interdisziplinärer Arbeitskreis Dritte Welt, Veröffentlichungen Band 8 (ISBN 3-927581-06-2)
- Hardoy, J.E., D. Mitlin, D. Satterthwaite (2001): Environmental Problems in an Urbanizing World. London (Earthscan), 448 S. (ISBN 1-85383-719-9)
- Hohn, U. (2000): Stadtplanung in Japan. Geschichte - Recht - Praxis - Theorie. Dortmund.
- Lo, Fu-chen, P.J. Marcotullio (eds.; 2001): Globalization and the sustainability of cities in the Asia Pacific region. Tokyo (United Nations University Press), 505 S. (ISBN 92-808-1060-X)
- McGee, T.G., I.M. Robinson (eds.; 1995): The Mega-Urban Regions of Southeast Asia. Vancouver (UBC Press), 384 S. (ISBN 0-7748-0530-7)
- Mitchell, J.K. (ed.; 1999): Crucibles of Hazard: Mega-Cities and Disasters in Transition. Tokyo (United Nations University Press), 535 S. (ISBN 92-808-0987-3)
- Rakodi, C. (1997): The Urban Challenge in Africa. Growth and Management of its Large Cities. Tokyo (United Nations University Press), 628 S. (ISBN 92-808-0952-0)
- Rosenzweig, C., W.D. Solecki (eds.; 2001): Climate Change and a Global City. The Potential Consequences of Climatic Variability and Change. Metro East Coast. New York (Columbia Earth Institute), 224 S. (ISBN 0-9713347-0-6)
- Satterthwaite, D. (ed.; 2001): Sustainable Cities. Tokyo (Earthscan), 472 S. (ISBN 1-85383-601-X)
3. Upgrade WebPage
The website of the TaskForce at http://www.megacities.uni-koeln.de/ has been substantially upgraded: The former version of the website included 28 megacities with more than 8 Mio. inhabitants. Now, also the 11 megacities with more than 5 Mio. inhabitants have been included (figures according to the UN World Urbanization Prospects, 2001 revision): Bogotà, Chennai, Chicago, Hong Kong, Hyderabad, Kinshasa, Lahore, London, Rhine-Ruhr North, Santiago de Chile, Wuhan, thus giving a total of 39 megacities with more than 5 mio. inhabitants. Furthermore, large numbers of publications, weblinks, maps and photographs have been added to the documentation. The next step in the upgrading process will include comprehensive statistical data.
Some statistics: Since 17th August 2001 until now the website has been contacted - growingly during the last months - by more than 16.000 users, exceeding maximum access of more than 200 users per day several times in recent weeks, the majority (56.2%) from Europe, 22.3% from North America, 10.2% from Asia, 3.9% from Australia, 3% from South and Middle America, 1% from Africa.
4. Second Roundtable on "Megacities and Global Change Research"
This international workshop on the state-of-the-art of interdisciplinary megacities research is funded by the German Research Council (DFG) and will take place in Bensberg near Cologne on November 3rd and 4th, 2003. Themes to be discussed will include the following:
5. International Conference "Megacities III: Action Models and Strategic Solutions", November 24-26, 2003, Schloss Eichholz, organized by the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation (KAS)
Please find below the tentative conference programme and a contact address for further details:
Monday, November 24, 2003
up to 12.30h Arrivals
14.00 - 14.30h Opening Ceremony
Dr. Christian Ruck MdB
Spokesman for development politics of the CDU/CSU parliamentary group, Berlin
Prof. Dr. Frauke Kraas
Chair of the MegaCity TaskForce, International Geographical Union (IGU)
Department of Geography, University of Cologne
Servicestelle Kommunen in der Einen Welt / InWEnt gGmbH, Bonn
14.30 - 15.30h Conference Keynote Presentation
Dr. Günter W. Dill
Co-ordinator, International Administrative and Municipal Consultation,
Department of International Co-operation,
Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V., Sankt Augustin
15.30h Coffee break
16.00h Guest presentation I:
Prof. Dr. Marcelo Lopes de Souza
Núcleo de Pesquisas sobre Desenvolvimento
Sócio-Espacial (NuPeD) Departamento de Geografia Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
17.00h Guest presentation II:
Dr. Debra Roberts
Manager, Environment Development
Planning & Management, Durban,
Prof. Enrique Peñalosa
Former Mayor of Bogotá, Colombia (to be confirmed)
Followed by 'Market of Opportunities'
from 20.00h in the rooms of Schloss Eichholz, preceded by a brief introduction of the exhibitors
Tuesday, November 25, 2003
09.00h Parallel working group sessions
WG 1: Control Models
Keynote speaker: Prof. Dr. Harald Fuhr
International Politics Chair
University of Potsdam
Moderator: Eugen Kaiser
Director, Promotion of Democracy/ Administrative Reforms, InWEnt, gGmbH, Bonn
Rapporteur: Prof. Dr. Uta Hohn
Department of Geography, Ruhr-University Bochum
Critical expert: Prof. Dr. Peter Herrle
Faculty VII (Architecture- Environment-Society), TU Berlin
Sheela Patel/India (to be confirmed)
WG 2: Sustainability Models
Keynote speaker: Prof. Dr. Martin Coy
Department of Geography, University of Innsbruck
Moderator: Reinhard Sellnow
Rapporteur: Dr. Martina Neuburger
Department of Geography, University of Tübingen
Critical expert:[opt.] Dr. Debra Robert
Manager, Environment Development
Planning & Management, Durban, South Africa
WG 3: Innovative Transport Strategies
Keynote speaker: Dr. Christopher Zegras (to be confirmed)
Research Associate, Center for Environmental Initiatives Cooperative Mobility Program, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Cambridge, MA
Moderator: Wolfgang Forderer
Coordinator Urb-Al, city administration, Stuttgart
Rapporteur: Dr. Jan Marco Müller
Environmental Research Centre, Leipzig
Critical expert: Dr. Bambang Susantono (to be confirmed)
Secretary General of SUSTRAN (Sustainable Transport Action Network), Asia Pacific Secretariat, Jakarta
Manfred Breithaupt (to be confirmed)
GTZ - Transport Division, Eschborn
WG 4: Land Development Strategies
Keynote speaker: Prof. Dr. Gerd Schmidt-Eichstaedt
Institute for Regional Planning, TU Berlin
Moderator: Prof. Andreas Hempel
Architecture Policy Adviser (AGH), Berlin
Rapporteur: Babette Wehrmann MA
Department of Land Regulation and Development, TU München
Critical expert: Peter Palesch
GTZ/World Bank, Cities Alliance, Washington
11.00h Coffee break
11.30h Working group sessions (contd.) WG 1 - WG 4
14.00 - 16.00h Working group sessions (contd.) WG 1 - WG 4
16.00h Coffee break
16.30 - 18.30h Concluding working group sessions with political representatives
Conny Meyer MdB
from 20.00h 'Market of Opportunities'
Wednesday, November 26, 2003
09.00h Conclusions of the working groups
- Control Models
- Sustainability Models
- Innovative Transport Strategies
- Land Development Strategies
Moderation: WOLFGANG MEYER
10.30h Coffee break
10.45h 'ACTION MODELS AND STRATEGIC SOLUTIONS'
Concluding expert panel including representatives from politics and development aid organisations
Dr. Günter W. Dill
Followed by Departures
Dr. Guenter Dill, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V., Internationale Zusammenarbeit, Rathausallee 12, D-53757 Sankt Augustin, Germany
tel.: +49-(0)2241-246 290, fax: +49-(0)2241-246 870, mobile: 0179-102 1919, email: email@example.com; www.kas.de
6. Planned activities for future months
7. Request for Cooperation
We would like to invite you to cooperate with the TaskForce by
- sending us details about various activities, like conferences, call for papers, etc. to be disseminated on the homepage under 'events';
- sending us details on ongoing or new projects and research initiatives (to be included under 'research');
- informing us on recent publications (quoted in the same way as on the web under 'documentation' and 'publications');
- sending us material on individual megacities, such as maps, statistics, www-links for inclusion into the webpage under 'documentation'.
The aim is to have a website that is both informative and topical and reflects the state of the art of megacity research.
Finally, please let us know whether you are interested in being kept in our Megacities mailing list. Any feedback from you - be it in connection with research projects, news on relevant meetings and activities, the Newsletter, or other matters - will be highly appreciated! Please contact either Frauke Kraas or Ursula Dörken, who is responsible for the secretariat in Cologne.
Wishing you bright autumn days as well as success with all your projects and activities,
Frauke Kraas Günter Mertins Ursula Dörken
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