Suketu Mehta, one of the participants in our most recent seminar (RPS III: Dialogue) in Sri Lanka, has published a new article in The Guardian entitled "Beyond the maximum: cities may be booming, but who's invited to the party?" Suketu is the New York-based author of 2004's ‘Maximum City: Bombay Lost and Found,’ which won the Kiriyama Prize and the Hutch Crossword Award, and an Associate Professor of Journalism at New York University.
As Suketu writes,
New York, like Rio, like Mumbai, is booming. Things seem to be going well for these cities. But who exactly is it going well for? To build a great city, a just city, we have to look at who’s included and who’s excluded. Then we should follow three principles: don’t exclude anybody from the law. Don’t exclude anybody from the conversation. And don’t exclude anybody from the celebration.
With increasing urbanization, climate change, migration, and other factors affecting human life on our planet, issues of equity and cooperation become all the more relevant to our shared future on earth. According to the UN, 54% of the world’s population currently lives in urban areas, and by middle of this century urban populations are projected to rise to 62% in Africa, 65% in Asia, and up to 90% in Latin America. Suketu's work is therefore key to helping us understand how the challenges of urbanization can be addressed as proactively and fairly as possible.
You can read his full article here.